Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-12-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor


  WINDY CITY TIMES

David Cale unearths tragedy, secrets in 'Short Time'
by Catey Sullivan
2018-09-10

This article shared 1741 times since Mon Sep 10, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Imagine the worst thing that could possibly happen to you as a child. Now, imagine something worse.

For groundbreaking multi-hyphenate David Cale ( singer-composer-actor-writer ), there's no "imagine" in the exercise. Growing up in one of England's most crime-plagued towns, his childhood would be dismissed as an exploitive, Dickensian knockoff were it the stuff of fiction.

With his musical memoir We're Only Alive for a Short Amount of Time, Cale lays bare a secret he's been carrying for most of his life, exposing the violent event that defined his childhood and shaped everything that followed. "Most people, even people I've known for decades, they don't know why I left London," said Cale of his abrupt departure from England in the late 1960s. "I've told only a few people. And they've freaked out. When people know, they look at me differently. They say they can't see me the same way anymore. It changes things."

Running Sept. 15-Oct. 21 at the Goodman's Albert Theatre, We're Only Alive for a Short Amount of Time features half a dozen songs composed by frequent Cale collaborator Matthew Dean Marsh. Cale sings all of them, backed by Marsh's on-stage quintet. Cale says the show—directed by Goodman Artistic Director Robert Falls—is wholly unlike any of the previous six productions he's brought to the Goodman over the past 30 years.

The pice has the hallmarks of Greek tragedy—with a few key differences. In Cale's story, brutality goes unavenged. A young man's odyssey across continents and oceans does not, ultimately, lead him back home.

Cale plays numerous roles in the show, but the main character is his mother. Cale was 16 the last time he saw her in person. After that, she became a paper woman, existing only in lurid headlines and endless tabloid tell-alls, her life as a factory worker in Luton, England rewritten for salacious impact and mass consumption.

"Basically she was put on trial, but she was never able to defend herself," Cale said.

Cale has spent decades writing tunes for the likes of Debbie Harry and Elvis Costello and establishing a himself as one the country's foremost monologists. But he says he's "lost the map" with We're Only Alive for a Short Amount of Time.

"It's a new form for me," he said of the one-person autobiographical story-with-music. "I think I'm doing something that hasn't been done before. At least, I haven't seen anything like this out there."

Music has long been crucial to Cale's life. Growing up, he spent hours in his room listening to Judy Garland records. ( In one of Cale's earlier shows, his mother snaps at him that it's not normal for a boy to spend his life listening to a dead woman sing ). Garland's voice provided an escape from his parents' volatile marriage. But not even Judy could soften the violence that eventually consumed the household.

In talking about the production, Cale keeps circling back to his mother, who is featured on the show's promotional materials.

"She was a gifted, creative woman who had everything stamped out of her. There was no context for a woman like her in our town," he said. Cale grew up in industrial Luton, a place where—as he tells it—"you had two options. You could work in the hat factory or you could work in the car factory."

"It was brutal," Cale added. "When I was there, it had the highest crime rate in England. My mother would have flourished in a big city, someplace where there is an outlet for creativity. For people who think differently. But not in Luton. She never had a chance."

At 16, Cale dropped out of high school and left Luton for London. At 20, he left London and flew to the United States. "It wasn't a tortured decision," he said. "I had absolutely nothing to lose. If I'd stayed, I might have been killed. I never looked back."

Now he is looking back, and taking the audience with him. He's done three performances of "We're Only Alive" in New York, where the piece had an unexpected impact. "After people saw it, I was immediately asked to start speaking about trauma to various groups. To come lecture about survival and trauma. I turned everyone down. I'm not a spokesperson. I'm not a social worker. I don't want to be," Cale said.

"This show—it doesn't right any of the wrongs," Cale said. "But it gives me a chance to represent my mother. And I think she is representative of a lot of people. It's a complicated, tragic story. But I think it's life-affirming, too. In a way, what I do realizes my mother's potential. I wouldn't be an artist if it weren't for her."

Cale has this to say to people who feel as trapped as he did in Luton. "If it's killing your spirit, you have to leave. You have to. There was a certain point with my childhood when I felt like a kid standing with a bucket of water next to a house completely on fire. That bucket of water isn't going to do anything. So you have to flee."

Cale's longtime partner—an art conservationist—is apt to join him for part of the run. "We broke up, but I think we're getting back together. Yes, I would definitely say we're getting back together. He's coming here to see the show," Cale said.

"We met at a friend's birthday party," Cale continued. "I didn't think he was gay. So when he offered to give me a ride home I was a little cool. But I was tired, so I took the ride. Then he called me up and asked me out. It was all very old fashioned. He knows everything. "

We're Only Alive for A Short Amount of Time marks runs Sept. 15-Oct. 21 at the Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. Tickets are $25 — 75.; visit www.goodmantheatre.org .


This article shared 1741 times since Mon Sep 10, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

THEATER Red Orchid's 'The Moors' running through Feb. 27
2022-01-15
A Red Orchid Theatre is running Jen Silverman's The Moors, directed by Artistic Director and Ensemble Member Kirsten Fitzgerald, through Feb. 27 at A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St. The plot is as follows: ...


Gay News

THEATER About Face announces cast of queer-themed 'Laced'
2022-01-14
About Face Theatre begins its 27th season with the world premiere of Samantha Mueller's drama Laced, running March 17-April 16 at the Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. Set in the aftermath of the vandalism of ...


Gay News

Black Ensemble Theatre announces 2022 Season of Excellence: The Season of Healings
2022-01-14
-- From a press release - Chicago, IL—Black Ensemble Theater's Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor announces its 2022 Season of Excellence: The Season of Healings. The 2022 Season includes four World Premiere musicals showcasing the power ...


Gay News

THEATER DuSable, puppet company to run Toni Morrison's 'The Bluest Eye'
2022-01-13
The DuSable Museum of African American History is partnering with the 4th Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival to present a production of The Bluest Eye, based on Toni Morrison's 1970 groundbreaking coming-of-age novel. The production will ...


Gay News

THEATER 'This Is Only a Test' Feb. 11-March 12
2022-01-12
Broken Nose Theatre, a pay-what-you-can theater company, is welcoming back live audiences this winter with the world premiere of Eric Reyes Loo's drama This Is Only a Test, directed by Toma Tavares Langston. The production will ...


Gay News

THEATER Queer-themed 'Queen of the Night' to run Jan. 29-March 13
2022-01-11
Victory Gardens Theater is slated to open its 2021-22 Mainstage Season with Queen of the Night, written by travis tate and directed by Victory Gardens Artistic Director Ken-Matt Martin. Queen of the Night features Terry Guest ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Mary Rose' running through Feb. 12
2022-01-10
Black Button Eyes (BBE) Productions is concluding its 2021-22 season with the world-premiere musical Mary Rose, featuring book and lyrics by Producing Artistic Director Ed Rutherford, music and lyrics by Jeff Bouthiette, direction by Ed Rutherford ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Queens of Infinite Space' canceled because of COVID
2022-01-07
With the increase in COVID-19 cases in Chicago and beyond, Proboscis Theatre has decided to cancel the performances of The Queens of Infinite Space set to run at Epiphany Center for Arts, 201 S. Ashland Ave., ...


Gay News

THEATER Steppenwolf delays '1919' premiere due to COVID
2022-01-07
Due to the COVID-19 surge driven by the Omicron variant, and out of an abundance of caution for public health, Steppenwolf Theatre Company has postponed its Steppenwolf for Young Adults world-premiere adaptation of Eve L. Ewing's ...


Gay News

Mercury Theater Chicago announces casting and artists for 'Women of Soul'
2022-01-06
--From a press release - Chicago —Artistic Director Christopher Chase Carter, Managing Director Shane Murray-Corcoran, and Executive Producers Walter Stearns and Eugene Dizonannounce the cast and creative team for the next Mainstage production of the ...


Gay News

THEATER Trans performer Sis is doin' fine in 'Oklahoma!'
2022-01-05
This isn't your typical grandma's Oklahoma! The very first musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein opened on Broadway in 1943 and continues to captivate audiences today. The dialogue remains the same, but updated casting choices have ...


Gay News

COVID Raven Theatre cancels production of 'Beautiful Thing'
2022-01-05
Raven Theatre announced it will cancel its upcoming production of Beautiful Thing due to the current surge of the COVID Omicron variant. The production, written by Jonathan Harvey and directed by Mikael Burke, was slated to ...


Gay News

ATTRACTIONS 'Dr. Seuss' extended through Jan. 23
2022-01-05
The Dr. Seuss Experience—the immersive spectacle that gives guests of all ages the opportunity to journey through nine different Dr. Seuss books—will now take place on Saturdays and Sundays through Sunday, Jan. 23. The attraction is ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Winnie the Pooh' running March 15-June 12
2022-01-05
After its run in New York City, Jonathan Rockefeller's Disney's Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation will arrive in Chicago on March 15 and will run through June 12 at the Mercury Theatre Chicago, ...


Gay News

Theatre Above the Law to run 'Chernobyl' on Feb. 3-27
2022-01-04
Theatre Above the Law, a member of the League of Chicago Theatres, will stage its world premiere of Ghosts of Chernobyl on Feb. 3-27 at 1439 W. Jarvis Ave. The production was originally slated to run ...


 



Copyright © 2022 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


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

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.