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 2019-05-22
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Theater Review: The Old Settler
by Mary Shen Barnidge
2010-02-17

facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Playwright: John Henry Redwood
At: Writers' Theatre, 325 Tudor, Glencoe
Phone: 847-242-6000; $40-$65
Runs through: March 28
As quaint as the notion may seem today, there was a time once when an American woman's worth was calculated almost exclusively in terms of marriage to a community-approved consort and subsequent production of several likewise exemplary children. And in wartime, amid tensions engendered by the shortage of suitable men, Mothers' Day, that annual celebration of procreative prowess, enjoyed an elevated importance in recognition of families with missing sons. These factors do not rest easy with the Borny sisters, spinster Elizabeth and divorcée Quilly, whose duties at their Harlem church only serve to highlight their single status, particularly after Elizabeth agrees to take in a temporary boarder—the fresh-off-the-farm Mr. Witherspoon, come searching for his home-town sweetheart, Miss Lou Bessie Preston.

John Henry Redwood's play may be viewed as a documentary on social changes precipitated by World War II—Elizabeth and Quilly's acceptance of their humble position among their peers contrasting with Lou Bessie's unswerving, often ruthless, ambitions. There are also nostalgic aspects in the author's invocation of partyline telephones, transitory fashions ( zoot suits, seamed stockings ) , and hours measured by radio broadcasts. As domestic drama, however, Redwood's plot sometimes reveals its construction a bit too tidily ( beginning with a prince charming whose own mother saw fit to christen him "Husband" ) , but this doesn't mean that the story's conflicts resonate any the less in 2010, when scandal still besets women of—ahem!—certain age who choose to ally themselves with younger companions.

It's to the credit of Ron OJ Parson's direction for this Writers' Theatre production, and the acting skills of Cheryl Lynn Bruce and Wandachristine, that we remain almost totally oblivious to these detachments for the 2 hours-plus duration of its performance. Our attention is instead riveted on our universe ( accurate right down to the shifting of the light outside the window ) and the fates of its denizens, our empathy extending not only to the "old settler" siblings whose opportunities will remain forever restricted, but to the fickle Husband caught between old and new lifestyles, and even to the defiant Lou Bessie, who has her reasons for seeking revenge on her elders.

There's no denying the long and chilly trek to the north suburbs, but the quality evidenced at this artistic oasis rivals—frequently surpasses— those of many venues more logistically accessible to deliver an evening with characters that, having made their acquaintance in these intimate quarters, you will never forget.


facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg 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

Eddie Izzard works Wunderbar in Chicago 2019-05-24
Second City's Salute to Pride to Bring the Party to UP Comedy Club this June 2019-05-24
Pride poetry-slam competition June 12 2019-05-22
Xavier MaatRa on produce company, consulting, other pursuits 2019-05-22
THEATER REVIEW The Crowd You're In With 2019-05-22
THEATER REVIEW Mary Shelley's Frankenstein 2019-05-22
THEATER REVIEW Next to Normal 2019-05-22
THEATER REVIEW The Crowd You're In With 2019-05-22
THEATER REVIEW La Havana Madrid 2019-05-22
Critics' Picks 2019-05-22
THEATER REVIEW The Killing Game 2019-05-22
THEATER REVIEW The Winter's Tale 2019-05-22
Spotlight 2019-05-22
SUMMER THEATER FEATURE Saving precious daylight, Summer theater in Chicago 2019-05-22
SUMMER THEATER FEATURE Destination theater: Light up the skies! 2019-05-22
SUMMER THEATER FEATURE Turn up the heat: Summertime LGBTQ theater 2019-05-22
THEATER REVIEW La Havana Madrid 2019-05-21
New play by Black, Brown teens on coming of age in the age of Trump 2019-05-21
THEATER REVIEW La Havana Madrid 2019-05-19
Correct Arts to present All The World's a Stage, evolution of Chicago theater in art 2019-05-19
Van Ness, Gadsby at Chicago Theatre in June 2019-05-18
Kokandy Productions announces casting for Head Over Heels 2019-05-16
'Stonewall' exhibit talks, performances on May 22-25 2019-05-16
THEATER The Secret of the Biological Clock 2019-05-15
Megan Hilty sings Smash hits at the Goodman gala 2019-05-15
THEATER REVIEW The Winter's Tale 2019-05-15
Critics' Picks 2019-05-14
Spotlight on The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes 2019-05-14
Steppenwolf Theatre to present Ms. Blakk for President special events 2019-05-14
Printers Row Lit Fest to include "Year of Chicago Theatre" in June 2019-05-14
Cirque du Soleil to perform at Soldier Field 2019-05-14
THEATER August Rush: The Musical 2019-05-13
THEATER REVIEW Undeniable Sound of Right Now 2019-05-13
'Two Dykes and a Mic' on May 14-15 2019-05-13
The Annoyance Theatre presents: "Steamworks: The Musical" 2019-05-08
THEATER REVIEW West Side Story 2019-05-08
THEATER REVIEW The Children 2019-05-08
THEATER REVIEW Mad Beat Hip and Gone 2019-05-07
SPOTLIGHT 2019-05-07
COMEDY Joel Kim Booster returns to Chicago 2019-05-07
 



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      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.