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 2020-05-27
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW Carnival Nocturne
by Mary Shen Barnidge
2009-11-25

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: created by the Silent Theatre Company. At: Silent Theatre Company at The Storefront, 66 E. Randolph. Phone: 312-742-8497; $20. Runs through: Dec. 20

People who travel with circuses and carnivals often testify to it being a pleasant lifestyle, enhanced by loving families, supportive friends and other social comforts long considered the exclusive province of ground-gripping tribes. You won't find such views expressed in literary fiction, however, where such nomadic communities are uniformly fraught with cruelty, perversion and grotesque horrors. You know, sort of like Fairy Tales.

This latest fable from the Silent Theatre Company tells the story—we know it's a story, because the book recounting it is rarely out of sight—of a sparrow-like waif, cast off by neglectful parents, who falls in with a band of itinerant players. Little does she know that this touring show is under a curse, invoked by its ringmaster after an accident resulting in the death of his beloved wife. As the newcomer learns more about the source of her fellow entertainers' suffering, she comes to see a remedy for their oppression—but breaking malevolent spells, as we all know, calls for sacrifice.

In keeping with the Silent Theatre aesthetic, the action is mimed to musical accompaniment, alleviated by occasional snippets of appropriately scratchy spoken narrative issuing forth from a Victorola-vintage gramophone. But if the ambiguity engendered by this abstract mode of presentation makes for a certain fuzziness in our comprehension of the plot's finer points—the range of magical powers exercised by a briefcase-toting hunchbacked elf, for example—it nevertheless facilitates an endless stream of exquisite images, among which are graceful silk-rope acrobatics by a pair of E.T.A. Hoffmann-esque aerialists, a blind gypsy's premonition revealed in trick-photo video footage, and an attack by a berserk tiger ( fortunately de-clawed ) on an unwary audience member.

Though undeniably dark in tone, the romantic gloom is mitigated by the disarming presence of a carnival barker/storyteller, played by the always charismatic Marvin Eduardo Quijada. The four-piece orchestra dispensing kletzmer-tinged melodies ( with a pre-show score eerily reminiscent of Maestro Subgum and the Whole ) likewise provides aural respite from the visual/kinetic spectacle. While far from the palatial glamour of the Loop's more traditional holiday family-events, Carnival Nocturne offers enchantment commensurate with Nutcrackers and Carols at a fraction of the admission cost, while clocking in at a brisk 90 minutes. And nary a fa-la-la or a ho-ho-ho to be heard.


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

47th annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards postponed 2020-06-03
STREAMING THEATER REVIEW Improv House Party 2020-06-03
THEATER Larry Kramer (1935-2020), polemicist and playwright 2020-05-30
Jeff Awards Nominee Night cabaret concert online June 1 2020-05-29
Chita: A Legendary Celebration to stream May 29 2020-05-27
SHOWBIZ Rufus Wainwright, LGBTQ films, Billy Porter, Janelle Monae 2020-05-27
THEATER Pride in Place Festival brings LGBTQ theater to stay-at-home audiences 2020-05-26
BAMtheatre starting virtual classes 2020-05-26
Steppenwolf names first woman Executive Director 2020-05-22
STREAMING THEATER REVIEW To Master the Art 2020-05-22
STREAMING THEATER REVIEW School Girls; Or The African Mean Girls Play 2020-05-22
STREAMING THEATER REVIEW The Happiest Place on Earth 2020-05-21
Broadway In Chicago reschedules 'Frozen' 2020-05-21
'SapphFest' to take place virtually May 28-29 2020-05-21
First Folio to stream 'Cymbeline' in June 2020-05-19
Hell in a Handbag updates season with 'Girls,' 'Tiger Queen' 2020-05-19
Victory Gardens announces IGNITION Festival of New Plays 2020-05-18
Broadway in Chicago updates show schedule 2020-05-15
Brick by brick, Mark Larson talks about a life of LEGOs 2020-05-14
'Six' postponed until November 2020-05-14
STREAMING THEATER REVIEW To Master the Art 2020-05-14
'Dear Evan Hansen' cancelled 2020-05-14
FILM Eric Rosen, from About Face to the movie 'Netuser' 2020-05-13
Arts funding faces challenges in new landscape 2020-05-13
'Teenage Dick' to now run through May 17 2020-05-13
Brown Paper Box announces final season 2020-05-13
'Seize the Stage' benefit May 21 2020-05-12
Mercury Theater Chicago remote video content to include "On the Road to Priscilla" 2020-05-08
Victory Gardens has new management model, names new ED 2020-05-05
Actors Gym to stream original production Isolated 2020-05-04
STREAMING THEATER REVIEW All-One! The Dr. Bronner's Plays 2020-05-04
Second City streaming free improv shows 2020-04-30
'Teenage Dick' virtual run extended through May 17 2020-04-29
Nominations announced for 47th annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards 2020-04-28
League fights to help save Chicago venues 2020-04-26
NU professor among academy's new members 2020-04-25
Ravinia's production of Bernstein's 'Mass' on PBS on May 15 2020-04-24
Victory Gardens unveils 2020-21 season, streaming 'Fun Home' 2020-04-22
Brown Paper Box announces final season 2020-04-21
MOVIES About Face co-founder writes, directs 'Netuser' 2020-04-20
 



Copyright © 2020 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


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar 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      Submit 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.