Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-11-19
Download Issue
  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Sponsor
John Ritter's son plays gay character on CBS' 'The McCarthys' John Ritter's son plays gay character on CBS' 'The McCarthys'
On Nov. 10, Windy City Times participated in a conference call with ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times    Download PDF Issue

The Convert
THEATER REVIEW
by Mary Shen Barnidge
2012-03-14

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Danai Gurira. At: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. Tickets: 312-443-3800; www.goodmantheatre.org; $12-$42. Runs through: March 25

Our setting is South Africa—but not the war-torn Africa of recent years, replete with repugnant tales of genocidal atrocities, suffering civilians and Uzi-toting guerrillas. No, this is the colonialist Africa of 1895, our immediate environment is the home of a native-born Christian pastor, and the local citizenry dress in Victorian fashions lending the initial scenes an almost Shavian ambience. Nobody is raped in the course of the action, and violence is kept safely offstage or hidden from view behind furniture more suited to a parlor in Derbyshire than an office in a tropical jungle.

Squeamish audiences hesitant to confront the horrors associated with "Dark Continent" dramas have nothing to fear, in other words. The conflict addressed by playwright Danai Gurira involves a young woman who finds liberation from gender-repressive tribal customs in a gospel promising eternal freedom—a view shared by her evangelist employer, whose aspiration is to become a fully-ordained priest. Their peers may play along, or play into, the White Man's image of the incumbent population, but these pilgrims are sincere in their faith. In a country where those in power refuse, literally, to practice what they preach, this can only end badly—and bloodily.

The lesson we are to draw from this parable is largely dependent on what we arrive expecting to be taught—the roots of the partisan paranoia prevalent in the nation now called Zimbabwe, perhaps, or a crisis of identity as our eager pilgrim struggles in her loyalties to her new-found mentor and to her unreconstructed family. Auxiliary characters provide insight, evident in our own history, into how conquered peoples often assimilate foreign customs into their own culture. Lazy playgoers can even wallow in reparative guilt after secretly indulging their nostalgie de l'exotique.

The cast assembled by director Emily Mann, featuring Pascale Armand as the innocent Ester and LeRoy McClain as the ambitious Chilford—with sly scene-stealing support from Cheryl Lynn Bruce and Zainab Jah as the crafty housekeeper Mai Tamba and trophy mistress Prudence, respectively—deliver marathon-stamina performances, evoking empathy for the archetypal personalities in Gurira's symposial story, despite a protracted running time (three hours, with two intermissions) that, on a smaller stage, could be reduced by 45 minutes without cutting a single word, whether in English or Bantu.


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg 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.

Director Mike Nichols dies 2014-11-19
THEATER REVIEW Women at War 2014-11-19
THEATER REVIEW Tamer of Horses 2014-11-19
THEATER REVIEW Iphigenia in Aulis 2014-11-19
THEATER REVIEW Bearly Legal 2014-11-19
NUNN ON ONE Talking with Mr. Grinch 2014-11-19
Lypsinka back on stage after almost a decade 2014-11-19
Out actor Harrison White on LGBT productions, Chicago roots 2014-11-19
Theater spotlight; Critics' Picks 2014-11-19
Soap opera's Hall in 'Special Rudolph' Dec. 7 2014-11-19
COMEDY Todd Glass admits to some dos and don'ts 2014-11-18
About Face Theatre presents Big Red and the Boys 2014-11-13
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Lyric brings back 'Porgy and Bess' in Zambello production 2014-11-12
THEATER REVIEW Featherstone 2014-11-12
THEATER REVIEW A Bright Room Called Day 2014-11-12
THEATER REVIEW The Inside 2014-11-12
THEATER REVIEW Lotto Fever in the Sucker State 2014-11-12
Theater spotlight, Critics picks 2014-11-12
The good, the bad and the hopeful 2014-11-11
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Werner aims for Broadway big league 2014-11-05
THEATER REVIEW The Lieutenant of Inishmore 2014-11-05
THEATER REVIEW Strandline 2014-11-05
THEATER REVIEW The Hundred Flowers Project 2014-11-05
THEATER REVIEW Titanic 2014-11-05
Theater Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2014-11-05
THEATER Osgood celebrates milestone career in stage managing 2014-11-05
Upcoming: Barlesque; casting auction; Gershwin, Ives 2014-11-05
Upcoming: WC&F party; BETTY; New Freddie Mercury songs 2014-11-05
Lady Balls to premier at Annoyance Theatre 2014-11-04
'Out' lesbian Moms Mabley was comedic pioneer 2014-10-29
Theater events: Nutcracker; Lynch at Lyric; Laramie 2014-10-29
THEATER REVIEW Amazing Grace 2014-10-29
Theater spotlight and Critics' Picks 2014-10-29
THEATER REVIEW Parade 2014-10-29
THEATER REVIEW All Girl Edgar Allan Poe 2014-10-29
THEATER REVIEW Devil's Day Off 2014-10-29
Events coming up in film, arts, music, performance 2014-10-29
Bailiwick Chicago holds annual casting auction 2014-10-28
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Theatrical puzzle pieces 2014-10-22
THEATER REVIEW Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street 2014-10-22





Copyright © 2014 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.

 

 

 

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Federal judge: Montana's anti-equal marriage rule unconstitutional
 
TRAVEL Eureka Springs, Ark.: Living on mountain time
 
National Women's Hall of Fame hosts forum in Chicago
 
DISH: SAVOR Old Crow Smokehouse; Kokopelli
 
Leaving a legacy: Danny Kopelson reflects on Hall of Fame life
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now
Sponsor


Sponsor

  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



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      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
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.