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 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Design for Living
2005-09-21

This article shared 2817 times since Wed Sep 21, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Noel Coward

Circle Th., 7300 W. Madison, Forest Park

Phone: ( 708 ) 771-0700; $21-$23

Through Oct. 23

BY SCOTT C. MORGAN

How did Noel Coward get away with it? How could he write and star in Design for Living, a Broadway comedy about a shifting ménage a trois between two men and a woman, in 1932!?

Well, I'm sure Coward's high-wattage do-no-wrong co-stars Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontaine probably had something to do with dispelling controversy. And since all three were all playing uber sophisticate artists, their atypical behavior was probably more deliciously silly than downright scandalous.

Nowadays, directors and actors can easily play up all of Design for Living's overt bisexual overtones that were probably glossed over or just ignored before. Recent productions ( like the 2001 Broadway revival starring Alan Cumming and Dominic West ) splashed the subtext across the stage with male nudity and kissing. Circle Theatre follows this trend with its stylish and extremely pertinent production.

In Design for Living, Coward's comically hammers home the point that not all people are destined or suited by nature to fit into one relationship mould imposed by society. Although it is messy at times, the love/hate/love relationship between decorator Gilda, playwright Leo and painter Otto eventually works out comfortably, much to the horror of some of their straight-laced acquaintances. With today's heated war over gay marriage and non-traditional families, Design for Living feels almost as if it were written just yesterday.

For Circle's production, director Jim Schneider has plenty of fun with his game cast. The cast's comic timing and deadpan irony isn't fully firing on all cylinders yet, nor will they be hired any time soon by the BBC for their aspirant British accents. But most everything else is a success and delight.

As the muse Gilda, Simone Roos cuts an extremely glamorous figure in Elizabeth P. Shaffer's satiny and plush period costumes that look like they cost a bundle. Although her free spirited bohemian in the first scene could use a bit more polishing, Roos is amazing later on as the dissatisfied wealthy society woman tired by complacent success.

As the two men in love with Gilda ( and each other ) , Bradford R. Lund's Leo is a wiry wonder of nonchalance, while P.J. Schoney flashes plenty of bravado as Otto.

They have plenty of fun dashing and drinking their way through Bob Knuth's sleek sets which range from a rightfully tatty Left Bank Parisian apartment to a heavenly wood-panel art deco London suite ( Knuth's New York penthouse is marred by a few design-on-a-dime compromises like its clunky stairway ) .

The supporting cast has a good go at the characters, though Robyn Acetta and Patti Roeder shine through as the ones getting the most laughs in their roles of easily swayed New York socialites.

Though not a complete dream come true, Circle Theatre's Design for Living is filled with plenty of skillful fun and full of food for thought. Although Coward never publicly came out of the closet during his lifetime ( he told friends he didn't want to devastate the matinee ladies who were still madly in love with him ) , his ingenious works now more than ever speak out for him.


This article shared 2817 times since Wed Sep 21, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Lyric Opera presenting 'Florencia en el Amazonas' Nov. 13-28 2021-10-21
- During Nov. 13-28, Lyric Opera of Chicago will run the company premiere of Florencia en el Amazonas—the first Spanish-language work to be presented as part of Lyric's mainstage opera season. There will be evening performances on ...


Gay News

Theater review: This Wide Night 2021-10-17
- Title: This Wide Night. Playwright: Chloe Moss At: Shattered Globe Theatre/Interrobang Theatre Project at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. Tickets: $25-$45; SGTheatre.org. Runs through: Nov. 13 The landlord calls ...


Gay News

MUSICALS 'Pretty Woman' tickets go on sale Oct. 15 2021-10-15
- After a pre-Broadway run in Chicago and being on Broadway, Pretty Woman: The Musical, based on one of Hollywood's most beloved romantic stories of all time, returns to Chicago. The production will run at the CIBC ...


Gay News

THEATER Broken Nose presenting looter drama 'Primer' Nov. 15-Dec. 5 2021-10-15
- Broken Nose Theatre, a pay-what-you-can theater company, will run the world premiere audio drama Primer, described in a release as "a deeply honest look at the prioritization of property over people. Ensemble member Spenser Davis wrote ...


Gay News

THEATER 'A Rocky Horror Picture Party' at The Den on Oct. 30-31 2021-10-12
- Haven is presenting Science Fiction / Double Feature: A Rocky Horror Picture Party—an immersive Halloween experience that brings to life in vivid technicolor the world of the cult-classic film—directed by ...


Gay News

THEATER Rivendell's '8:46' to run Oct. 21-23, stream Nov. 1 2021-10-12
- Rivendell Theatre Ensemble (RTE)—Chicago's only Equity theater dedicated to producing new work with women at the core—announced 8:46 (Breathing Room), a new play festival of four commissioned plays each eight ...


Gay News

COMEDY Janeane Garofalo at The Den Theatre on Nov. 19-20 2021-10-12
- The Den Theatre will present comedian Janeane Garofalo for four performances on Nov. 19-20 (at 7 and 9:30 p.m. each night) on The Heath Mainstage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. Garofalo has had many memorable and critically ...


Gay News

DRAG Utica Queen finds a home in Chicago 2021-10-12
- Ethan Mundt rose to fame as Utica Queen in season 13 of the Emmy-winning show RuPaul's Drag Race. Ultimately placing sixth in the competition, this young, gay 25-year-old showed creativity and personality. Mundt's latest project, Homecoming ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog' running through Nov. 6 2021-10-12
- Black Button Eyes Productions is welcoming back live audiences with the popular internet musical Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog—an authorized fan production to benefit the Chicago charity Season of Concern—playing through ...


Gay News

THEATER 'I'm Not A Comedian… I'm Lenny Bruce' returns Nov. 5 2021-10-08
- Theatre 68 and the Venus Cabaret Theater, 3745 N. Southport Ave., announced the return of the critically acclaimed production, I'm Not A Comedian… I'm Lenny Bruce, to Chicago beginning Friday, Nov. 5. Ronnie Marmo wrote and ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Songs for Nobodies 2021-10-07
- Title: Songs for Nobodies. Playwright: Joanna Murray-Smith At: Northlight Theatre at the North Shore Center for the Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd. Tickets: $30-$89. Runs through: Sunday, Oct. 31 You won't find their names in the history ...


Gay News

Chicago Inclusion Project offers anti-racism workshops for arts organizations 2021-10-05
--From a press release - Chicago, IL—The staff of The Chicago Inclusion Project is excited to launch a new workshop and continuum developed by staff members Jessica Vann and Arti Ishak. The workshop, entitled "Being Anti-Racist: An Active Action," is designed ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW: American Mariachi 2021-10-02
- Title: American Mariachi. Playwright: Jose Cruz Gonzalez At: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. Tickets: $25-$98; GoodmanTheatre.org. Runs through: Oct. 24 From the first moment, when a shrill "grito" proclaims the commencement of a Mariachi bolero, ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Thirteen Days 2021-09-29
- Thirteen Days. adapted by Brian Pastor from the book by Robert F. Kennedy At: City Lit Theatre at Edgewater Presbyterian Church, 1030 West Bryn Mawr Ave., Tickets: $27-$32. Runs through: Oct. 24 Palace Intrigue has been ...


Gay News

THEATER 'The Last Pair of Earlies' running Oct. 27-Dec. 12 at Raven 2021-09-28
- Raven Theatre, Chicago's newest Equity-affiliated theatre, is welcoming back audiences this fall with the world premiere of Joshua Allen's The Last Pair of Earlies, directed by Wardell Julius Clark. This new drama—which follows the hardships ...


 



Copyright © 2021 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


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.