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 2018-06-20
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW The Rise and Fall of Little Voice
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times
2015-08-25

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Jim Cartwright. At: No Stakes Theater Project at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. Tickets: 1-773-975-8150; www.theaterwit.org; $13.50-$34.50. Runs through: Sept. 5

Steppenwolf Theatre Company produced this play 21 years ago utilizing an enormous set with a moving house that swallowed the play alive. It still requires a two-story house ( Grant Sabin, set designer ) but this intimate staging—skillfully and intelligently directed by Erin Shea Brady—offers a clearer look at quirky British playwright Jim Cartwright's work ( he's better known for his earlier play, Road ).

Set in a northern England city perhaps 30 years ago, the play pits mother against daughter in what becomes a triangle of selfish interests as the mother's boyfriend becomes involved. The mother, Mari ( played with brazen relish by Rebecca Sohn ), is the showy role, a working class slattern with a dead-end job and a perpetual hangover who values herself only for her fading physical and sexual attributes. A widow with nothing good to say about her late husband, Mari hardly acknowledges her teenage daughter, to the extent of literally having no food in their small house. The daughter, Little Voice or Elvie ( Scarlett Sheppard ), barely talks at all and then only in a whisper. Isolated by choice and emotionally stunted, she's sustained by listening obsessively to her dad's recordings of classic female vocalists such as Garland, Piaf and Holiday.

All this would be of little interest without a twist: when Little Voice sings, she can impersonate to perfection the vocal styles of all the greats. This grabs the attention of Mari's current boyfriend, Ray Say, a small-time entertainment promoter. He sees Little Voice as a potential star act with a big future. Trouble is, Elvie won't leave the house to go to the corner café, so how can Ray ( aggressively but sympathetically played by Will Casey ) and Mari persuade her to perform in public? Mari absolutely lacks any sensitivity or subtlety for the task, but Ray is more astute. Still, things don't end well for anyone, especially Mari who probably gets what she deserves. Little Voice escapes with help from a smitten young phone installer ( Johnathan Wallace ) nearly as uncommunicative as she is, but to what end is unclear.

The actor playing Little Voice must credibly impersonate the greats. Fortunately, Scarlett Sheppard has the chops and does dead-on soundalikes of a half-dozen notable vocalists. Her voice isn't huge but she's convincing and even astonishing at moments. The real difficulty with the play is that Little Voice is mainly a cypher. Who is she? At 15 or 16 she doesn't go to school, has no job, never leaves the house, has no friends and appears to have no real-world capabilities. The play may be a story of survival, with Mari at the end of a journey while Elvie is at a beginning, but Cartwright ultimately begs the question.


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

Hell in a Handbag cast announced for The Artificial Jungle 2018-06-21 - CHICAGO ( June 20, 2018 ) — Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to announce casting for The Artificial Jungle, the final ...


Gay News

'Queer, Ill + Okay' June 21, 23 2018-06-20 - Program Director Joseph Varisco, of Salonathon and the former Alphawood Gallery, has announced the "Queer, Ill + Okay" summer 2018 program of arts ...


Gay News

MORE ON SULLIVAN Reminiscing about Sullivan's theater 2018-06-20 - When I was 19 years old I was an Equity Apprentice at the Little Theatre-on-the-Square. At that time, being an apprentice was ...


Gay News

Activities in Sullivan, Boutiques, antiques, beaches and more 2018-06-20 - From theatergoers to campers to shoppers, Sullivan caters to tourists. The Little Theatre on the Square is the marquee attraction, but there ...


Gay News

THEATER Sullivan, Illinois, a theater and a thruple thrive 2018-06-20 - If a theater survives five years, a theater has reached a major milestone. A decade? That's a relative rarity. Endure for 60 years ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Don't Smoke in Bed 2018-06-20 - Playwright: Aurin Squire At: Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets: $15-23; ChimeraEnsemble.com. Runs through: July 8 Even in ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW From the Mississippi Delta 2018-06-20 - Playwright: Endesha Ida Mae Holland, Ph.D. At: Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre at the Noyes Cultural Arts Ctr, 927 Noyes St., Evanston. Tickets: $15; Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre; ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Wild Women of Planet Wongo 2018-06-20 - Playwright: Dave Ogrin ( producer/music/lyrics ), Ben Budick ( lyrics ) and Steve Mackes ( book/lyrics ) At: the Basement Chopin Theatre, ...


Gay News

Critics' Picks 2018-06-20 - The Opportunities of Extinction, Broken Nose Theatre at the Den, through June 30, A smart low-key trio of actors lend a glimmer of ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Guards of the Taj 2018-06-20 - Playwright: Rajiv Joseph At: Steppenwolf, 1650 N. Halsted St. Tickets: 312-335-1650; Steppenwolf.org; $20-$94. Runs through: July 22 Legend has it that after ...


 



Copyright © 2018 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


 



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.