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 2019-06-26
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Witch
by Catey Sullivan
2018-10-10

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


By: Jen Silverman

At: Writers, Gillian Theatre, 325 Tudor Ct., Glenview. Tickets: 847/242-6000 or Writerstheatere.org; $20-$80. Runs through: Dec. 16

It's tough to think of a world premiere this year with more resonance than Jen Silverman's Witch. Raging, hopeful, weeping: No matter how you leave Witch, you won't leave unscathed.

Set in vaguely Shakespearean-era Britain, Jen Silverman's script creates a world of long ago, when men were allowed to marry/rape/kill whomever they want, generally with impunity—and where women of outspoken intelligence are condemned and ostracized as witches. Witch takes place 500 years ago. Witch takes place today.

Directed with tremendous impact by Marti, Lyons Witch opens with a monologue from Elizabeth, aka the Witch of Edmonton. It closes with a monologue from Scratch, aka the Devil. These inverted bookends create a portrait of 16th-century England that is as specific and meticulously detailed as the needle-point chair-cushion tapestries that adorn the set.

Through Elizabeth ( Audrey Francis, whose command of the stage increases and intensifies with every passing year ) and Scratch ( Ryan Hallahan, covering a vast spectrum from abject evil to vulnerable-as-a-puppy ), the story unfolds.

The plot centers on a transaction. Scratch offers Elizabeth and vengeance in exchange for her soul. She's not having his petty nonsense. She wants to hear the pitch he'd give a man. As the play winds on, his sales pitches become listening sessions. Here's Elizabeth, talking to Scratch:

"There are so many times in which I want to say something and then I don't—because there's a voice in my head, it says, 'What's the use?' It says, 'Do you really want to draw attention?' And I want to speak, but I get so tired, I just get so tired that in the end it's easier not to."

Catch Hallahan's expressions during Francis understated, tsunami-powerful delivery. You can see the scales dropping. And then Scratch silently emotes denial, pouting, dismay, anxiety and—as the acceleration toward panic ratchets up—denial again. Because she's got to be exaggerating, right?

Elizabeth and Scratch are surrounded by deft subplots that make the primary story richer, deeper and more entertaining. The entire supporting cast fills even the smallest moments with. Potent, telling details. Arti Ishak as the maid in the the local castle; Steve Haggard as Cuddy, the gay, depressed son of Lord of the Manor Sir Lawrence, David Alan Anderson as that jocularly entitled lord and Jon Hudson Odom as Cuddy's machismo rival for Lawrence's love—they are all vivid and meticulously recognizable.

The action ( including Matt Hawkins' stunningly realistic-looking brawl ) plays out Shibagaki's immersive set which moves from hovel to castle with brevity and grace. The story is further enhanced by Mieka van der Ploeg's costumes, which reference Elizabethan fashions with a minimalist elegance. Paul Tobin's light design and Mikhail Fiksel's sound design give the world beauty and dimension.

Under Lyon's diamond-clear direction, Witch is a shard of light, a rip in the muck that makes it known that light still exists. To address the final, quiet, thunderingly-impactful seconds of Witch: There is hope in that realization. Maybe not for your future, but for somebody's.


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

THEATER REVIEW Something Clean 2019-06-26 - Playwright: Selina Fillinger At: Sideshow Theatre and Rivendell Ensemble at Victory Gardens Biograph, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets: 773-871-3000; VictoryGardens.org; $20-$30. Runs through: ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The River 2019-06-26 - Playwright: Jez Butterworth At: Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets: Bohotheatre.org Runs through: July 28 It's both simple and impossible ...


Gay News

Critics' Picks 2019-06-26 - 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

The Second City salutes Pride 2019-06-22 - The Second City's Salute to Pride is waving a welcoming flag this June with an all LGBTQ identifying cast. Head upstairs to UP ...


Gay News

Steppenwolf Theatre Company Extends Ms. Blakk for President 2019-06-21 - CHICAGO ( June 21, 2019 ) — Due to popular demand, Steppenwolf Theatre Company has added seven more performances to the run of ...


Gay News

Hell in a Handbag to present The Drag Seed world premiere July 5 2019-06-20 - CHICAGO ( June 19, 2019 ) — Hell in a Handbag Productions continues its 2019 season with the world premiere of THE DRAG ...


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 ...


 



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.