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 2018-12-12
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Theater: The Dumb Waiter and The Zoo Story
by Catey Sullivan
2006-08-16

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


By: Harold Pinter and Edward Albee, respectively

At: Signal Ensemble Theatre at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division

Contact: ( 773 ) 347-1350; $10-$15

Two men, two meetings, two cryptograms that resolve themselves with violence or its imminent threat: In both Edward Albee's The Zoo Story and Harold Pinter's The Dumb Waiter, menace hangs like ether in the air. The fact that both one-act plays are also often chortlingly funny gives both a delightful, macabre twitchiness

In pairing the the two, the Signal Ensemble Theatre offers an evening of tantalizing unease. These are fearsome little two-handers—dramatic illustrations of Thomas Hobbes' theory that life is nasty, brutish and short. And, as Albee and Pinter illustrate, absurd.

Here we have characters living on the precipice of nihilism. To survive—or to make any sense of the violence and death all around—they have to surrender the comforting, quaint notion that life has meaning and the human race overall is governed by some guiding moral truth. As if, Albee and Pinter insinuate. The world is a dark, random place. The joke's on us—might as well laugh.

Signal knows its way around these themes; the company staged a fine Waiting for Godot earlier this year, and The Dumb Waiter is very much Pinter's earlier, shorter Godotesque predecessor to the masterpiece. For The Dumb Waiter, director Aaron Snook keeps the pacing vaudeville brisk as hitmen Ben ( Joseph Stearns ) and Gus ( Philip Winston ) wait in a seedy transient hotel for orders from the unseen Wilson. The pair prefigure Godot's hopelessly hopeful ( only Pinter could make that seeming oxymoron make sense ) Vladimir and Estragon in telling ways, from the mysterious rubbish Gus shakes from his shoes at the play's onset to the all-powerful authority of their mysterious boss.

As Gus, Winston builds to a mesmerizing finish, starting as a doltish man-child and—as senseless events pile into terror—and escalating to pupil-dilating fear. His break-down howl ( 'What's he playing all these games for' ) is an Edvard Munch scream, the primal yell of somebody who has just discovered his life has been one, long mind-fuck.

The final moment of The Dumb Waiter is crucial, a thing packed with unresolvable tension and threat. Winston and Stearns get it absolutely right.

A similarly harrowing story unfolds in The Zoo Story, as a pleasant afternoon in Central Park devolves into one man's destruction and another's salvation. Who gets what, however, is hard to say.

The men here are Peter ( Stearns ) , an upper-middle class family man, and Jerry ( Christopher Prentice ) , a volatile loner with nothing left to lose. Director Ronan Marra pulls both the jarring humor and the jagged desperation from the text, providing a story that jangles and unnerves. But this is Prentice's showcase. He moves and talks with the intensity of a shock treatment, keeping a precarious on a razor-wire of ramblings about the grotesqueries of life.


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

Raven Theatre sets casting for Pulitzer winning How I Learned to Drive 2018-12-17 - CHICAGO ( December 13, 2018 ) — Raven Theatre is pleased to announce casting for Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece HOW I LEARNED ...


Gay News

Hellcab 2018-12-17 - By: Will Kern At: The Raven Theatre, 6157 N Clark St. Tickets: WeAreTheAgency.org; pay-what-you-can ( suggested $20 donation ) . Runs through: Dec. ...


Gay News

The Play That Goes Wrong 2018-12-12 - Playwright: Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields At: Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St. Tickets: BroadwayInChicago.com . Runs through: Dec. 16. ...


Gay News

Hedwig' tour in Chicago in 2019 2018-12-12 - John Cameron Mitchell—the Tony-winning, Golden Globe-nominated co-creator of Hedwig & the Angry Inch—will bring his rock spectacle to the United States for the ...


Gay News

The Second City 107th Mainstage Revue, Algorithm Nation or The Static Quo 2018-12-11 - Writers: Ryan Asher, Tyler Davis, Jeffrey Murdoch, Emma Pope, Nate Varrone, Kimberly Michelle Vaughn At: The Second City Mainstage, 1616 N. Wells ...


Gay News

T.R. Knight talks about upcoming 'Dream' role 2018-12-11 - T.R. Knight might still be best known for his five-season run as Dr. George O'Malley on ABC's Grey's Anatomy—and for the infamous 2007 ...


Gay News

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins 2018-12-10 - Author: Michael Daily, from the book by Eric Kimmel At: Strawdog Theatre, 1802 W. Berenice Ave. Tickets: strawdog.org; $20-$25. Runs through: Jan. 5 ...


Gay News

The Santaland Diaries 2018-12-10 - Playwright: Steve Scott, adapted from the essay by David Sedaris At: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. Tickets: $15-45; GoodmanTheatre.org . Runs through: ...


Gay News

Critics' Picks 2018-12-10 - Buttcracker: A Nutcracker Burlesque, ( Sub )version Productions at Reggie's Music Joint, through Dec. 26. Fan-dancing snowflakes, a glass-eating "Calavera Catrina" and a ...


Gay News

Stomp 2018-12-10 - By: Luke Cresswell and Steve MacNicholas At: Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut St.. Tickets: BroadwayInChicago.com; $39-$84. Runs through: Dec. ...


 



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


 



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.