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 2019-06-19
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

The Nutcracker
by Amelia Orozco
2018-11-19

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


By: Jake Minton, Phillip Klapperich,

Kevin O'Donnell, and Tommy Rapley. At: The House Theatre of Chicago, 1543 W. Division St. Tickets: TheHouseTheatre.com; $20-$50. Runs through: Dec. 30

This holiday season, as usual, there are plenty Nutcracker productions in town.

Thankfully, a Chicago tradition stands strong and stands out at The House Theatre of Chicago. Tommy Rapley's direction and choreography adds a freshness to The Nutcracker and the Mouse, the original story by E.T.A. Hoffman of hopes, dreams and magic. Rapley's The Nutcracker is not a ballet, but a celebration of family and friends amidst grief and sorrow, wrapped and ready to deliver through song and dance.

Part of the experience of this show is seen upon arrival at the venue. A milieu of people in costume are seen talking, laughing and dancing pre-show and during intermission. It has a SNL afterglow feel as the actors interact and mingle with guests who will take their seats just a few steps away, some at floor level. The stage is at center ring and the entire room is a living stage as some action takes place on the walls and spaces behind the seats. In a swirl of dancing and song, theatergoers experience the story up close and personal in this inviting and interactive space of The House Theatre. The players draw people in with eye contact and in-your-face interactions that tug at the heart.

This adaptation—by Minton, Klapperich, O'Donnell and Rapley—quickly enraptures with an opening Christmas party scene filled with anticipation and joy and then, just as fast, turns into the grim realities of death and loss. This is a brave undertaking by both the creators and actors as they are seamlessly moving from one scene to the next, a wardrobe change at a time and most treacherously of all, from smiles to tears. They are successful at it with all nimbleness of body and mind, bringing light to an otherwise dark tale.

There are many examples of this duality throughout the play. Take, for example, Clara ( Haley Bolithon ), an endearing child who is seen jumping with glee one moment and literally dropping to the floor the next, as she mourns the loss of her brother, Fritz ( Desmond Gray ). But her young heart trusts her Uncle Drosselmeyer ( Rom Barkhordar ) when he tells her that magic is real when the nutcracker doll he gifts her comes to life as her beloved brother, Fritz.

These imaginings are to the dismay of her grieving folks, David ( Nicholas Bailey ) and mom, Martha ( Amanda de la Guardia ) who reject any mention of the life and loss of their son Fritz, who died while serving in the military. Amidst this heavy dialogue, Bailey, de la Guardia and Barkhordar also double as the seedy rat crew, with English accents to boot. Each time, the actors return to their main roles and characters of uncle, mom and dad completely unsullied.

Music, lighting and larger-than-life rat puppets help in illustrating all of these points and it's done in a way that makes so much sense to the imaginative mind of a child. Deep darkness and low notes crescendo into emotional turmoil and turn back into Christmas magic that sweeps in with prop snow in flurries all around. This, by the way, was a playground of sorts at intermission enjoyed by all.

This Nutcracker is more than about toys that come to life to fight off grumpy rats—it's about cherishing loved ones and celebrating their lives, whether present or not. Clara and her family had lost a loved one and, yet, they still possessed all the elements to create a perfect Christmas but it was difficult to imagine it through their tears. It took the innocence and valor of a little girl to go into the dark places of the heart to battle these fears and finally break the family free from their sorrow, allowing them to once again celebrate with a renewed joy.

A wonderful gift that should also become a yearly tradition for families, The House Theatre of Chicago's Nutcracker will touch the most crotchety to the most sensible member of your family.


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

Windy City Times and Reader Theater Series 2019 2019-06-18 - Click on the link for full schedule and registration form: https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/reader-windy-city-times-theater-series/Content?oid=71068613 . ...


Gay News

THEATER Elizabeth Rex 2019-06-18 - Playwright: Timothy Findley At: Oak Park Festival Theatre at Austin Gardens, 167 Forest Ave., Oak Park. Phone: 847-; $15-$35. Runs through July 21 ...


Gay News

About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble to debut '20/20' 2019-06-18 - The About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble is celebrating its 20th anniversary with the world premiere of 20/20—a dive into recent queer history devised ...


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. ...


 



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.