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 2018-10-10
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW Victims of Duty
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Sean Margaret Wagner
2018-07-16

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Author: Eugene Ionesco

At: A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St. Tickets: 312-943-8722 or ARedOrchidTheatre.org; $50. Runs through: Aug. 5

Absurd theater is the refuge for certain breeds of white male tortured genius.

It's dismissive of average storytelling norms; has no love for governments, religions and other societal institutions; and would like you to witness the nothingness we amount to in a cruel universe, and laugh—or not! Audience response is irrelevant. As the character Madeleine wonders to her seat partner at a fictitious performance, "Is that all we're good for? Just to pay and applaud?" With A Red Orchid Theatre's Victims of Duty, the answer is yes, but don't fear: The crack artistic team has found dozens of other ways to entrance us that are in keeping with Eugene Ionesco's trademark mundanity.

For one, this is a remount of A Red Orchid's 1995 production that gathers the majority of the original artistic team. The production also lays out a cozy home in a dripping, water-logged industrial pit to moody effect. The questions it raises about the nature of our institutions, and the oppressive ideologies that fuel them, are poignant in a way that 1995 was not in a place to appreciate.

Average couple Choubert ( Guy Van Swearingen ) and Madeleine ( Karen Aldridge ) posit that all theater can be boiled down to detectives bringing mysteries to satisfying conclusions, then are immediately interrupted by an inspector ( Michael Shannon ) with a mystery for them. A new government-suggested policy of detachment ensures that they must put their feelings aside and help the inspector, so Choubert agrees to some impossible procedures to retrieve any memory of Mallot, the previous tenant of their flat. They are joined by poet/hilosopher Nicholas D'eu ( Rich Cotovsky ), the only entity exercising dissent, and an unnamed woman ( Mierka Girten ) who watches silently.

With a stage slogged with watery torrents from two shallow pools, director Shira Piven keeps the action surprisingly nimble and mobile; water slicks and cascades of teacups are a feature, not a bug. It helps to have such agile performers as Van Swearingen, who is broken and rebuilt so many times as Choubert, he'll make you dizzy. Michael Shannon, as the chief inspector, is an imposing tether to traditional storytelling.

The others may be exhausted and devoid of the thing he needs, but he'll insist they pay him some deference anyway. Mierka Girten and Rich Cotovsky are the silent and violent witnesses, respectively, to the inspectors' truth extraction. The performer who is hardest to tear your attention away from is Karen Aldridge, as Madeleine. She cycles through every stage of socially acceptable womanhood ( Strumpet! Crone! Nag! Caretaker! ) like a slot machine on full tilt. You may not enjoy or retain much of Victims of Duty's nonsense layers; however, with any absurd play, that's the point.


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

Illeana Douglas 2018-10-14 - Illeana Douglas is a renaissance woman. Her distinguished career includes theater, standup comedy, movies, including several Martin Scorsese films, TV, writing, music ...


Gay News

Twelve Chicago-based LGBTQ+ performing arts organizations to perform together 2018-10-13 - CHICAGO, October 11, 2018 — Chicago Gay Men's Chorus celebrates 35 years of making music with their upcoming holiday show 35th Anniversary Holiday ...


Gay News

New World Play Festival through Oct 27 2018-10-11 - CHICAGO - Following the success of their 12th season of productions, culminating with the critically acclaimed Not One Batu, Nothing Without a Company ...


Gay News

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time 2018-10-10 - By Simon Stephens At Steppenwolf Theatre Company, 1650 N. Halsted St. Tickets: 312-335-1650 or Steppenwolf.org; $20-$30 Runs through: Oct. 27 ...


Gay News

The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe, A Love Story 2018-10-10 - By David Rice At: First Folio Theatre, Mayslake Hall, Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W. 31st St., Oak Brook. Tickets: firstfolio.org; $34 - $44. ...


Gay News

Oxy, Ohio 2018-10-10 - Playwright S J. Spencer At The Side Project Theatre Company at McKaw Theater, 1439 W. Jarvis Ave. Tickets: TheSideProject.net; $15-$20. Runs through: Oct. ...


Gay News

Critics' Picks 2018-10-10 - Indecent, Victory Gardens at the Biograph, through Nov. 4. The history of a play surviving through good times and bad invites us to ...


Gay News

La Boheme 2018-10-10 - By Giacomo Puccini At: Lyric Opera of Chicago, 20. N. Wacker Dr. Tickets: 312-827-5600; LyricOpera.org; $49-$279 . Runs through: Oct. 20 ...


Gay News

Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 2018-10-10 - By Roald Dahl ( original novel ), David Grieg ( book ), Marc Sharman ( music and lyrics ) and Scott Witt ( ...


Gay News

Zurich 2018-10-10 - Playwright: Amelia Roper At: Steep Theatre, 1115 W. Berwyn Ave. Tickets: $10-$38; 773-649-3168; SteepTheatre.com . Runs through: Nov. 10 A ...


 



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

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.