Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-08-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW The Mystery of Love & Sex
by Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times
2017-04-19

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Bathsheba Doran. At: Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Ct., Glencoe. Tickets: 847-242-6000; WritersTheatre.org; $35-$80. Runs through: July 2

Despite its title and a provocative program photo, this contemporary comedy-of-manners concerns sexuality rather than sex. Charlotte and Jonny have been best friends and next-door neighbors since they were nine, in an affluent Southern city. As college roommates they seem destined to marry, yet both have their first sexual experiences ( unseen in the play ) with others and then both come out. Over several years they carve out successful careers ( she/politics, he/academia ), find fulfilling relationships and then have a huge falling-out on the brink of Charlotte's wedding before a final reconciliation.

Charlotte ( Hayley Burgess ) and Jonny ( Travis Turner ) are attractive, bright and glib, but their story is relatively commonplace and wouldn't be very interesting if that's all there were. However, there are complications. For instance, Jonny won't come out as long as his strict Baptist widowed mother ( unseen ) is alive. Far more complicating are Charlotte's parents, Howard ( Keith Kupferer ) and Lucinda ( Lia Mortensen ), he a displaced New York Jew and successful author of detective fiction and she a Southern aristocrat whose family disowned her for marrying "a kike."

Charlotte and Jonny's relationship frequently is seen through the eyes of her parents, who have no qualms about religious differences or the kids' sexuality and apparently are unconcerned that Jonny is Black. He grew up with Charlotte, and Howard regards Jonny as a son. However, Jonny sees things differently. He teaches a course on covert racism with Howard's detective novels as his prime example. When Howard discovers this, his titanic hurt and sense of betrayal break Charlotte's friendship with Jonny. The schism lingers even after Howard and Jonny reconcile. Even more, while the young adults are finding their way in love and sexuality, Howard and Lucinda lose theirs as their marriage dissolves.

Under director Marti Lyons, the production is flawless in an intimate alley staging, with a giant old tree dominating Andrew Boyce's warm, simple-looking set. Kupferer is an assured master of Howard's sarcastic-but-caring persona and Mortensen is slyly salacious as the slow-to-fade southern belle. Burgess and Turner are ever-so-appealing as the clever but self-absorbed youngsters. All four are effectively vulnerable so we can empathize.

But where is my focus supposed to be? I know that Charlotte is the center of the play, or Charlotte and Jonny, but the parents continually pull focus, especially Howard. The only key incident we actually see onstage is Howard's Act II confrontation with Jonny. I'm not certain of playwright Doran's message, but it seems to be that ( a ) friendship is love and love requires friendship and ( b ) friendships must be nurtured to be lasting. I believe most people know these things, which makes this play stylish but not particularly revealing—just as a comedy of manners should be.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Sedaris, Ginsburg, Ailey dancers part of Auditorium's season 2017-08-16 - The Auditorium Theatre announced its 2017-18 season under new Chief Executive Officer Tania Castroverde Moskalenko—along with its new tagline, "The Theatre for the ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Engage! 2017-08-16 - Playwright: Brendan T. Stallings. At: Stellar Productions at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. Tickets: 773-975-8150; TheaterWit.org; $20. Runs through: Aug. 25 ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Monticello 2017-08-16 - Playwright: Thomas Geoghegan. At: Aurora Theater Works at the St. Bonaventure Oratory, 1625 N. Ashland Ave. Tickets: $20. Runs through: Sept. 3 ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Food Show 2017-08-16 - Playwright: Dan Kerr-Hobert, Caitlin Stainken and the ensemble. At: The Neo-Futurists at the Metropolitan Brewery, 3031 N. Rockwell St. Tickets: $10-$25. Runs through: ...


Gay News

THEATER Critics' Picks 2017-08-16 - Hir, Steppenwolf Theatre, through Aug. 20. It's hard to like the characters in Taylor Mac's darkly distorted family sitcom, but only a joker ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW HAIR: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical 2017-08-16 - Music: Galt MacDermot. Book & Lyrics: Gerome Ragni & James Rado.Directed by: Brenda Didier. At: Mercury Theater Chicago, 3745 N. Southport Ave. Tickets: ...


Gay News

THEATER SPOTLIGHT Gypsy 2017-08-16 - Reacquaint yourself with the musical theater world's ultimate "stage mother from hell" when Music Theater Works presents the 1959 Broadway classic Gypsy. The ...


Gay News

George Takei in Chicago on Sept. 7 2017-08-16 - In conjunction with its first original exhibition "Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII and the Demise of Civil ...


Gay News

'Cards Against Humanity' Aug. 25 2017-08-16 - Cards Against Humanity Live will return one night only on Friday, Aug. 25, at 8 p.m. at The Greenhouse Theater Center ( downstairs ...


Gay News

'Bewildered' cast announced 2017-08-16 - Hell in a Handbag Productions, celebrating its 15th-anniversary season, has announced casting for the world premiere of Bewildered—a musical parody of the classic ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.