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

'Family' matters
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times
2012-06-06

This article shared 3776 times since Wed Jun 6, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Out actor, playwright and Chicago native Paul Oakley Stovall was surprised that Tony Award-winning actress Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show, A Raisin in the Sun) agreed to read his play Immediate Family. He was even more elated when she came on to direct the play, which is now in previews at the Goodman Theatre's Owen Bruner Theatre as a rental production produced by Paul Boskind, Ruth Hendel and Stephen Hendel in association with About Face Theatre.

"I just went out on a limb and took a chance and I was very lucky that someone of her stature said, 'Sure, I'll read your play,'" Stovall said during a recent telephone interview. "Three days later she emailed in a very long email saying very nice things, and even then I didn't have the courage to ask her to direct it for another couple of months."

Stovall, who also serves as an advance associate for President Obama's administration, is grateful that Rashad is stretching herself as an artist and director by tackling a new text. And that's even when Rashad's advice clashes with his writing instincts.

"I really go for it with what I like to say as how people really talk in my dialogue." Stovall said. So he was taken aback later on in the rehearsal process when Rashad called him out on a joke that she felt was offensive. Though Stovall was apprehensive about making a change, it was when Rashad invoked the name of comedy great Bill Cosby that he eventually relented.

"So you don't ever have to insult another religion, race or sexuality—even if it's your attempt to say, 'Hey, I'm an equal opportunity offender and have my sights set on everybody,'" Stovall said, thinking back to his own experiences with Cosby's revered humor.

Immediate Family is a major reworking of Stovall's 2005 Chicago play As Much as You Can—so much so that he feels the work can rightfully be billed as a world premiere. It deals with the African-American Bryant family, who reunites in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood for the youngest brother's wedding. At this stressful and celebratory juncture, secrets get revealed and family members take sides when the prodigal son Jesse shows up with his Swedish "friend" (who is actually his boyfriend.)

Even though several social breakthroughs have occurred in the past few months with endorsements of same-sex marriage by President Barack Obama and the NAACP, Stovall still says his play is timely since so many other individuals need to be convinced in order to shift on their own personal opinions on the issue.

"This play is about the possibility of one person shifting their point of view on something because I think that's how real change happens—it happens through tiny little shifts and tiny little earthquakes," Stovall said about his characters in Immediate Family. "Let's not forget that (these high-profile endorsements for gay marriage) has raised the ire of many people who disagree."

Stovall doesn't want to jinx his hopes of a high-profile future life for Immediate Family once its Chicago run concludes, even if Tony Award-winning producers are already attached to his play. Stovall also hopes Immediate Family will attract a wider audience who can see beyond simple labels.

"It's easy to say that, okay, I'm an African-American gay writer so it's a 'gay play,'" Stovall said. "But it's really a play about siblings and it's a play about family and who is a family, whether it's a constructed family or a blood family or your adopted family. As I say in the play, it's all your immediate family."

Immediate Family continues through Aug. 5 at the Goodman Theatre's Owen Bruner Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. Previews run through June 7, with an official opening night of June 8. Performance schedule varies, but largely 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays (no shows July 2-4), 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sundays. Preview tickets are $20-$39, and $20-$54 during the regular run. Call 312-443-3800 or visit www.goodmantheatre.org for more information.

Follies in L.A.

The acclaimed 2011 Broadway revival of the Stephen Sondheim/James Goldman musical Follies recently transferred to Los Angeles after its New York run ended, just like its original production from 1971.

Back in 1972, Follies was the first show to open up the new Shubert Theatre in Century City, Calif. (which was later demolished in 2002—an ironic twist since Follies is a musical set at a showgirl reunion at a soon-to-be demolished theater). In 2012, Follies served as a replacement subscription show when a Broadway-bound revival of Funny Girl starring Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under) at the Ahmanson Theatre was scuttled when its funding fell through.

Although the Eric Schaeffer-directed revival that originated at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., is largely the same, there is a key difference that makes Follies in Los Angeles so much more fulfilling and richer than it was on Broadway.

Tony Award winner Victoria Clark (The Light in the Piazza) assumed the role of Sally Durant Plummer, which was previously played in the revival by Tony Award-winner Bernadette Peters (Song and Dance, Into the Woods).

With her soaring soprano voice and a decision not to reveal her character's mental instability up front, Clark offered up a much more compelling take on the role than Peters, who despite her best efforts, was essentially miscast. Theater fanatics who like to judge quality by award contests noted that Peters was not nominated for a Tony Award, while three of her Follies costars were nominated in leading acting categories (Jan Maxwell, Danny Burstein and Ron Raines.)

Follies overall is nominated for eight Tonys, and is expected to fare well at the Tony Awards Sunday, June 10 (broadcast on CBS). Although the show has closed on Broadway, Follies' triumphant return to Los Angeles shows how a casting change can make an enormous difference.

Follies runs at the Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., in Los Angeles, through Saturday, June 9. Visit www.centertheatregroup.com for more information.


This article shared 3776 times since Wed Jun 6, 2012
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

'Andersonville Homecoming' Sept. 24-26; line-up, vendors, safety protocols announced
2021-09-15
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Sept. 15, 2021) — The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is pleased to announce the full entertainment line-up and vendors for Andersonville Homecoming--a three-night, two-day outdoor festival featuring ...


Gay News

Frank Ferrante to return as 'Groucho' for one night
2021-09-15
Actor/director Frank Ferrante returns to his internationally heralded stage performance for one night only in "An Evening With Groucho" on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at the Spiegeltent ZaZou, on the 14th floor of the Cambria Hotel Chicago ...


Gay News

THEATER Out actor Dan Butler to be in 'When Harry Met Rehab'
2021-09-15
Don Clark, a Chicago-based film/theater producer as well as co-owner of the Chicago Magic Lounge, will present the world premiere of When Harry Met Rehab—a comedy that takes sobriety seriously and is based loosely on the ...


Gay News

Students urged to apply for Musical Theatre Awards
2021-09-14
Broadway in Chicago is inviting high schools across Illinois to participate in the 11th Annual Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards. These awards celebrate excellence in high school theater throughout the state. Beginning Thursday, Sept. 16, ...


Gay News

CAIC announces 2021 Collaborative Works Festival, immigration, migration in song
2021-09-13
--From a press release - CHICAGO— Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago (CAIC) begins its eleventh anniversary season with its annual Collaborative Works Festival, held in venues around Chicago from October 6—9, 2021. The 2021 Collaborative ...


Gay News

First Floor Theater announces 2021-22 season
2021-09-13
--From a press release - CHICAGO, IL (Sept. 13, 2021) — First Floor Theater is excited to announce their ninth live-production season, featuring one world premiere and one Chicago premiere, along with a second round of The Blueprint Commission, it' new ...


Gay News

AstonRep Theatre Company announces 2021-22 season:
2021-09-13
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Sept. 13, 2021) — AstonRep Theatre Company is pleased to welcome back live audiences this fall, kicking off with a revival of Yasmina Reza's frenetic dark comedy God of Carnage, translated by Christopher Hampton and ...


Gay News

MUSIC Lil Nas X wins top award at MTV VMAs
2021-09-13
The MTV VMA Awards took place Sept. 12—and an LGBTQ+ artist took home one of the night's top awards. Lil Nas X won Video of the Year for "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," besting Cardi ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Boy Meets Boy,' Jennifer Hudson, 'SVU,' tennis honor, ABBA
2021-09-12
Ariztical Entertainment is releasing the German movie Boy Meets Boy on DVD and VOD on Oct. 26. According to a press release, the plot of the 70-minute movie is as follows: "Harry has been partying for ...


Gay News

Pride Fest will extend to Oct. 3; headliners include Kristine W and Mya
2021-09-12
Mya, Shangela, VINCINT, Crystal Waters, Kristine W, Brooke Eden and St. Panther are among the headliners for Chicago Pride Fest now taking place over three days, Oct. 1-3, in Chicago's LGBTQ+ landmark Northalsted/Lake View district. The ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Dear Mom, I'm Gay!' on Oct. 1-2
2021-09-11
Dear Mom, I'm Gay!—a workshop of a new musical by David Dilsizian—is running at The Jarvis Square Theater, 1439 W. Jarvis Ave. It will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 1; and 2 and ...


Gay News

ARC Music Festival debuts in Chicago over Labor Day Weekend
2021-09-11
Replacing North Coast Music Festival's usual spot in Union Park, ARC Music Festival launched Sept. 4-5. North Coast was forced to move to SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois, that same weekend to a stadium that was ...


Gay News

Saint Sebastian Players to perform four shows during 40th season
2021-09-10
--From a press release - The Saint Sebastian Players (SSP) announce the company is resuming live, in-person production with an expanded 40th Anniversary Season. The four-play lineup celebrates genres that have been popular with SSP ...


Gay News

Victory Gardens Theater announces plans for 2021-22 season
2021-09-10
--From a press release - Chicago, IL— Victory Gardens Theater announces their 2021/2022 Season, which will be presented in-person at the Biograph Theater in Lincoln Park. The season will feature three mainstage productions: Queen of the Night by travis tate, the ...


Gay News

Broken Nose Theatre presenting Black LGBTQ drama 'Kingdom' Oct. 4-24
2021-09-10
Broken Nose Theatre is launching its tenth season with an audio adaptation of its hit 2018 play Kingdom, written by resident playwright Michael Allen Harris and directed by Manny Buckley. Kingdom features ensemble members RjW Mays ...


 



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


 



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.