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 2018-02-14
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



by Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Playwright: Theresa Rebeck. At: Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Ct., Glencoe. Tickets: 847-242-6000;; $35-$80. Runs through: April 2

What makes a man completely melt down? Playwright Theresa Rebeck can't answer this question—too many possible reasons—but it's her focus in The Scene, in which Charlie ( Mark L. Montgomery ), a 40-ish actor, destroys his 10-year marriage, throws away his longest friendship and rejects all professional possibilities, winding up an alcoholic street bum.

Charlie enjoyed early-career TV stardom but hasn't worked for some time. His wife, Stella ( Charin Alvarez ), supports them with a successful behind-the-scenes TV job. When very acerbic Charlie meets young, beautiful Clea ( Deanna Myers ) at an industry party, it's instant mutual dislike. Recently arrived from Ohio, Clea combines millennial vapidity with Valley Girl rhetoric. But Clea is much more than meets the eye/ear, and when she and Charlie next cross paths they begin a sexually voracious affair, which Stella discovers.

The minimal showbiz trappings of The Scene ( referring to the most of-the-moment place ) don't matter. Any profession would serve. The play really is about a very smart but self-destructive man who embraces his downward spiral with enthusiasm: the sex, betrayals, substance abuse and churlish attitudes.

With a splendid Chicago-based cast, design team and director, this production confirms Chicago's status as a world-class theatre city which nurtures artists ( if not always paying them well ). Director Kimberly Senior, designers Brian Sidney Bembridge ( scenic ) and Nan Zabriskie ( costumes ), actors Montgomery and Alvarez and their cohorts not named here all are outstanding theater artists who have matured before our eyes ( and paid their dues ) over 20 years or more.

Under Senior's direction, Montgomery plays Charlie's with tremendous vigor and assurance and barely a hint of apology. He conveys Charlie's intelligence and how he is drawn to strong women. He rejects his wife as being "too competent" but only at Clea's suggestion. It's an edgy performance of a meaty role. Myers is equally assured as Clea, a vixen who's dumb-like-a-fox and also dare-I-say sexy. She reveals Clea's steeliness only by degrees, although her self-absorption is clear from the get-go. Alvarez and La Shawn Banks ( Charlie's best friend ) offer convincing support.

Even so, The Scene cannot answer the big questions: why is this happening to Charlie now? Why does Charlie refuse help? Rebeck's intelligent script perhaps is too pithy for its own good. We never see Stella being "too competent" in a way which troubles Charlie. We never see Charlie in a career context, so we can't fathom his apparent professional despair. We don't know Charlie well enough before the melt-down to understand its "why," so the fall from content husband to street bum is rather extreme.

Bembridge's icy-but-beautiful set, with glass walls and floor and a starscape, suggests the moneyed high-rise glamor spots of New York, where The Scene takes place.

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.


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Fear and Misery in the Third Reich 2018-02-16 - Playwright: Bertolt Brecht At: Haven Theatre at the Den, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets: $18. Runs through: March 11 ...

Gay News

Lesbian teens will attend prom together, Lambda Legal encouraged by response 2018-02-15 - ( Anniston, AL, February 14, 2018 ) —Lambda Legal received a response from east Alabama's Calhoun County School District today that an Alexandria ...

Gay News

The Condition of Femme at Pride Arts Center in March 2018-02-14 - Circle Theatre's World Premiere The Condition of Femme will explore the many facets of rape culture March 2 to April 1. Lauren Marie ...

Gay News

Harris Theater presents 2018-19 Mainstage Season with Opera Atelier, English National Ballet 2018-02-14 - Chicago, Ill. — The Harris Theater for Music and Dance announces its mainstage season lineup for 2018-19, as the Theater celebrates 15 years ...

Gay News

THEATER New musical spotlights civil-rights activist Bayard Rustin 2018-02-14 - Look at Bayard Rustin's career as a civil-rights leader and one question becomes glaringly apparent: Why isn't he a household name alongside Rosa ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Cabaret 2018-02-14 - Music by: John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb and book by Joe Masteroff At: Paramount Theatre, Aurora. 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. Tickets: ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW You Got Older 2018-02-14 - Playwright: Clare Barron At: Steppenwolf Downstairs Theater, 1650 N. Halsted St. Tickets: 312-335-1650,; $20-$89. Runs through: March 11 In the ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Jeeves in Bloom 2018-02-14 - Playwright: Margaret Raether ( from P. G. Wodehouse ) At: ShawChicago ( sic ), Ruth Page Theater, 1016 N. Dearborn St. Tickets: 312-587-7390; ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Skeleton Crew 2018-02-14 - Playwright: Dominique Morisseau At: Northlight Theatre at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie Tickets: $30-$81. Runs through: ...

Gay News

THEATER SPOTLIGHT Grindr the Opera 2018-02-14 - So you could spend a ziggityzillion dollars for decent seats to Cosi Fan Tutti. Or you could head over to Grindr the Opera ...


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.








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.