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 2020-02-19
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 Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
by Mary Shen Barnidge
2009-04-22

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Playwright: adapted by Jay Presson Allen from the novel by Muriel Spark

At: Signal Ensemble at the Chopin, 1543 W. Division. Phone: 773-347-1350; $15-$20. Runs through: May 16

Adolescent crushes are a troublesome but unavoidable rite-of-passage, not unlike measles. Heroic mentors, with their mysterious hints of a world beyond our own mundane experience, ignite our imaginations, compelling us to deeds essayed in hopes of bringing us closer to their exalted status—and how can there be any harm in youngsters striving for excellence, whatever their motive? It's only when the objects of adoration are, themselves, enamored of the scenario imposed on them that they become a hazard to their immediate acquaintances.

The title character in Muriel Spark's novel, adapted for the stage by Jay Presson Allen, is just such a contradiction. The freethinking instructor at the Marcia Blaine Women's Academy enlivens her pupils' lessons with anecdotes of personal adventure tailor-made for appeal to hormone-driven girlish fancies—her lost sweetheart, slain in the recent great war, for example, or her speculative alliances with two of her male colleagues. Over time, it becomes apparent that Miss Brodie's first loyalty is to her own egotistical ideologies, other people serving as mere props to be manipulated into sharing in her casuistic machinations. But despite the forces of common sense marshaled against her, her spurned admirers—from the neglected disciple hungry for attention to the ex-lover wise enough to see through the game—know that they will never be free of her influence.

Allen's play is usually staged as a star vehicle for a patrician leading lady, making director Ronan Marra's choice of Patricia Austin—an actress more "sonsie" ( as Brodie's fellow Scots might say ) than statuesque—to play the dazzling schoolmistress a curious one. But as with all larger-than-life personalities, her credibility is less the product of her persona's own achievements than the responses of those surrounding her. However absurd her initial posturing may strike us, the obsessive fascination of her companions soon infects the most emotionally detached spectator with sufficient zeal to make us pity her inevitable comeuppance, even as we acknowledge its necessity.

The supporting cast assembled for this Signal Ensemble production—notably, Joseph Stearns and Aaron Snook as the befuddled swains, Brigitte Ditmars as the school's stern chief administrator, and a covey of young women, led by the always-beguiling Simone Roos—execute their responsibilities with insightful aplomb. Assisted by Elise Kauzlaric's phoneme-perfect dialects, their performances invoke both horror at the exploitation—however unconscious—of gullible children and rueful memories of our own reluctant farewells to false idols.


facebook twitter 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

Cantonese opera program March 17 2020-02-23 - "Si-fu: An Evening of Cantonese Opera" will make its Midwest debut at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts Performance Hall, ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Kill Move Paradise 2020-02-23 - By: James Ijames At: TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave. Tickets: 773-281-8463 or TimeLineTheatre.com; $42-$57. Runs through: April 5 There's a lot ...


Gay News

'Judy & Liza' tribute March 5-April 5 2020-02-19 - The tribute show "Judy & Liza—Once In A Lifetime: The London Palladium Concert" will be presented at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. ...


Gay News

'...Love Is Queer to Stay' throughout Feb. 2020-02-19 - The Laughing Stock Theatre production The Masquerade; Or, Love Is Queer to Stay presents a queer spin on classical tropes, and will run ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Boys in the Band 2020-02-18 - Playwright: Mart Crowley At: Windy City Playhouse, 3014 W. Irving Park Rd. Tickets: WindyCityPlayhouse.com Price: $75-95. Runs through: April 19 In ...


Gay News

OPERA REVIEW The Queen of Spades 2020-02-18 - Score: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky; Libretto: Modest Tchaikovsky; after Alexander Pushkin. At: Lyric Opera of Chicago, 20 N. Wacker Dr. Tickets: 312-827-5600 or ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Roan @ The Gates 2020-02-18 - Playwright: Christina Telesca Gorman At: American Blues Theater at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Tickets: $19-$39. Runs through: Feb. 29 ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Emma 2020-02-18 - Playwright: Paul Gordon ( book, music & lyrics ) At: Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier. Tickets: 312-595-5600; ChicagoShakes.com; $35-$90. Runs through: March 15 ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Lipstick Lobotomy 2020-02-18 - Playwright: Krista Knight At: Trap Door Theater, 1655 W. Cortland Ave. Tickets: $20-$25; Trapdoor.ticketleap.com. Runs through: March 21 Home, goes the adage, ...


Gay News

ShOWBIZ 'Drag Race' judges, Dwyane Wade, 'Porgy,' Of Montreal, Cirque du Soleil 2020-02-18 - RuPaul Drag Race's season-12 guest judges consist of film, music, television, fashion and political figures such as Nicki Minaj, Whoopi Goldberg, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, ...


 



Copyright © 2020 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


 



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 publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.