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



by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

By: C.A. Johnson

At: Strawdog Theatre Company, 1802 W. Berenice Ave. Tickets: 773-644-1380or; $26-$35

Runs through: Feb. 15

It's sad that Strawdog Theatre Company is being forced out from another of its performance spaces due to redevelopment plans. But a least they're leaving their venue with a dramatic bang with the mostly gripping Midwest premiere of C.A. Johnson's Thirst.

Thirst is technically a post-apocalyptic drama. Its starting premise is that environmental disasters have caused American society to collapse.

But the cataclysmic fallout is really more of a setup for Thirst to explore an intensely personal drama about a failed relationship. As the play unfolds, you get insight to former spouses living on the edge who have had vastly different reactions to grief and survival.

Thirst begins as if a memory play with the adopted child Kalil ( Saniyah As-Salaam ) recollecting past horrors. Then we meet Kalil's adoptive same-sex parents, Samira ( Tracie Taylor ) and Greta ( Laura Resigner ).

The drama kicks off when Kalil is refused access to water, which is controlled by an African-American militia that is on the verge of declaring a hard-won "peace." Samaria's ( ex? ) husband, Terrance ( Gregory J. Fields ), controls the militia, and it becomes apparent to all that he is withholding resources as a way to force some kind of marital resolution.

With Thirst, Johnson presents a truly disturbing future predicting groups dividing further along racial lines. So the fact that Samira and Greta are in an interracial lesbian relationship causes much friction within Terrance's leadership circle, which includes the volatile Coolie ( Tamarus Harvell ) and the more practical Bankhead ( Johnard Washington ).

Director Andrea J. Dymond's production keeps up the mystery built into Johnson's smart script. Dymond's decision to stage Thirst in the round helps the drama, as does the soldi production work of set designer Evan Frank, costumer Jos N. Banks and lighting designer Adrienne Miikelle.

My only issue is that some of the performances sometimes don't rise to the emotional extremes of Johnson's script. Thirst contains harrowing life-or-death situations and many remorseful recollections of dying family members.

Perhaps Drymond has steered the cast to have restrained reactions as if a defense mechanism. After all, these world-weary characters have already experienced so much horror and hurt in their lives.

But there are moments that could have been even more heart-wrenching if some performers had fully tapped into their emotions. Instead, there's more of a detachment that doesn't fully satisfy.

As a pessimistic portend of environmental trauma and contentious survivalists waging war, Thirst fulfills its promise of being a worrying dystopian drama. But Thirst also grips as a deeply personal look into a relationship that broke down amid bleak circumstances.

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

'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: 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;; $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; 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, ...

Gay News

Black Ensemble Theater opens Season of Change with Legends the Musical 2020-02-18 - CHICAGO, IL — Black Ensemble Theater opens its 2020 Season: Season of Change with Legends the Musical: A Civil Rights Movement, Yesterday, Today ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Roan @ The Gates 2020-02-17 - Playwright: Christina Telesca Gorman At: American Blues Theater at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Tickets: $19-$39. Runs through: Feb. 29 ...


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.







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.