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 2019-06-05
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

The Letters
THEATER REVIEW
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times
2012-12-19

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: John W. Lowell. At: Writers' Theatre at Books on Vernon, 664 Vernon Ave., Glencoe . Tickets: 847-242-6000; www.writerstheater.org; $35-$70 Runs through: March 3

The instant that actress Kate Fry uncomfortably walks onstage with a worried look in her eye, you know that you're in for a tense drama with Writers' Theatre's Midwest premiere of John W. Lowell's 2009 drama The Letters.

Fry plays an archivist editor named Anna, who works in an unnamed Soviet Union city in 1931. With framed portraits of Soviet leaders Lenin and Stalin looming large in Jack Magaw's austere office set, you're instantly guessing that Anna is the mouse who has unwillingly entered the cat's den.

Sure enough, The Director (a swaggering Mark L. Montgomery) soon bounds in with some initially good news of promotion for Anna. But we soon find out that The Director is really out to extract some crucial information from Anna.

It seems that some duplicate copies of historical and sexually explicit letters by "the nation's most famous composer" have been made, and The Director is sparing no means necessary to stop them from leaving the country and tarnishing the nation's cultural reputation around the world. (It's safe to guess that the composer is Tchaikovsky, since it is known that 20th-century Soviet censors did their utmost to erase his homosexuality from biographies and other historical records.)

So what's on display with The Letters is a tightly wound confrontation where Fry's Anna is desperately second-guessing her responses to the interrogations of Montgomery's increasingly aggravated and worked-up Director. It's a battle of power and wills that richly draws the audience in thanks to Lowell's finely plotted writing and the artistic forces of Writers' Theatre who bring the play vividly to life.

Director Kimberly Senior skillfully guides her actors through the text's nervous and angry emotions. Senior also smartly stages the production with the audience on two sides of the action, so we're there to be the constant spying observers of the characters who are forever in fear that they're being watched and followed.

Although The Letters only features two actors, Lowell's play conjures up a whole community of co-workers and family who become intrinsically part of the drama. The sound-effects design of Christopher Kriz also aids to the intensity, giving a sometimes ominous suggestion of outside people who are waiting to charge the two characters who are doing their utmost to either conceal or expose vital information.

With The Letters, Writers' Theatre definitely has an intimate and dramatic winner on its hands. Audiences who love suspense and psychological dynamics shouldn't miss it.


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

Terence Alan Smith: The real 'MS. BLAKK' 2019-06-18 - Terence Alan Smith, the Detroit native behind the drag persona Joan Jett Blakk, is still taken aback that a portion of his life ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Prophet$ 2019-06-18 - Playwright: Anthony Tournis At: Factory Theater, 1623 W. Howard St. Tickets: TheFactoryTheater.com or 866-811-4111; $25. Runs through: July 22 Protestant Christianity's ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Emma 2019-06-18 - Author: novel by Jane Austen, stage adaptation by Phil Timberlake At: Lifeline Theatre Company, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave. Tickets: lifelinetheatre.com or 773-761-4477; $20-$40. ...


Gay News

THEATER SPOTLIGHT Free Street Theater to do 50 plays in all 50 wards 2019-06-18 - On Sunday June 23, Free Street Theater will mark its 50th anniversary—very few Chicago theaters are older—by performing a play in every Chicago ...


Gay News

Critics' Picks 2019-06-18 - La Havana Madrid, Teatro Vista @ The Den, extended through 30 June—Last two weeks to see this thrice-remounted musical about Chicago's Latinx history, ...


Gay News

MUSIC LeAnn Rimes goes from 'Blue' to a rainbow 2019-06-18 - Singer LeAnn Rimes career took off at the tender age of 13 years old with a Bill Mack song called "Blue." After reaching ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Saving the World 2019-06-18 - Author: Marc Kelly Smith ( libretto ), Diana Lawrence ( music ) At: Chicago Tap Theatre at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Hedwig' director talks compassion, gender and music 2019-06-18 - Since its off-Broadway premiere, Hedwig and the Angry Inch has garnered a film adaptation, four Tony Awards and a substantial following. Initially, Toma ...


Gay News

Details for 'Dance for Life' set 2019-06-17 - Dance for Life—which mobilizes Chicago's dance community by raising funds through dance—announced updated program information for its annual benefit performance, taking place Saturday, ...


Gay News

'Drag Seed' cast announced 2019-06-17 - Hell in a Handbag Productionshas announced casting for its world premiere of The Drag Seed—an unauthorized parody of the 1956 psychological horror-thriller film ...


 



Copyright © 2019 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 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.