WINDY CITY TIMES
by Rick Reed
This article shared 1166 times since Wed Aug 1, 2001
Lamps, in various forms, are strewn across the stage. Slides are projected throughout the course of the production: a neon-bright Times Square, fireworks, flames, leaves glowing with sunlight, and more. The characters make constant references, some biblical, some contemporary, some poetic, about illumination. In short, it's no secret that playwright Cynthia Cooper has used light as motif and metaphor to illustrate her themes and to bring her characters to life ( as GE brought, back in its heyday, "good things to life," which is a constant refrain in the course of this haunting drama ) .
Bayley and Shue are a lesbian couple who have gone beyond the limerance phase of their love and are trying to hold their fragile relationship together. Bayley, an almost bi-polar attorney, is having problems: her mother suffers from Alzheimer's and she has yet to come to terms with her relationship with her father: a brilliant scientist who once toiled for General Electric and who may or may not have invented the fluorescent light bulb. Shue, the more settled of the two, has warm memories of her family, and a father who built his own simple pin camera which the two would take on outings when Shue was a girl, capturing the play of light and darkness in photos that haunt, and delight, Shue in her adult life.
And so playwright Cooper brings us into the world of her characters, people just like us, with the same problems and questions about our heritage and about the worlds of love and livelihood we inhabit in the present. Strange Light is a poem of a play, and ultimately rewarding, because its themes are not "gay" or "lesbian," but universal enough to be embraced by us all. Just as light works as a metaphor here to illuminate the darkness of Bayley and Shue's lives, it also works as an adhesive, binding the human community together in a soulful way.
With Robin M. Hughes empathetic, deft direction and terrific performances by the two leads, Christine Gatto as Bayley, and Tracy Repp as Shue, the Bailiwick Pride Series has a winner on its hands. Strange Light doesn't have the splash or controversy of some other productions in the series, buts its spare, elegant construction, along with what it has to say about basic human truths, makes it worthwhile...sure to evoke emotion and provoke thought ... long after the theater goes dark.
This article shared 1166 times since Wed Aug 1, 2001
| ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE|
|REVIEW Randy Rainbow tackles politics, shows talent at The Chicago Theatre 2021-10-24|
- YouTube sensation Randy Rainbow brought The Pink Glasses Tour to The Chicago Theatre on Oct. 22. Best known for videos that parody musical numbers with a focus on politics, the heavily curated show began with a ...
|SHOWBIZ JoJo Siwa, Haring/Ortiz mural, Jamie Lee Curtis, Billy Porter 2021-10-24|
- Dancing the foxtrot alongside partner Jenna Johnson to Olivia Newton John's "Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee (Reprise)" for Dancing with the Stars' Grease night, 18-year-old social-media star JoJo Siwa received the season's first perfec ...
|Stage Left Theatre names new artistic director 2021-10-21|
- Stage Left Theatre announced Bobbi Masters as its new artistic director. Masters has directed plays at theaters around the nation such as No Strings Theatre Company in Las Cruces, New Mexico (The Bald Soprano); and Kitchen ...
|THEATER E. Faye Butler to star in 'Fannie' Oct. 25-Nov. 14 2021-10-21|
- Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., will host the run of Cheryl L. West's Fannie (The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer), which will run Oct. 25-Nov. 14. E. Faye Butler stars as U.S. civil-rights ...
|Hubbard Street Dance back on the stage with 'RE/TURN' 2021-10-21|
- Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HSDC) will present Fall Series: RE/TURN to herald its return to the stage at the Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph St. The program will feature new premieres as well as audience favorites ...
|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 Amazonasthe first Spanish-language work to be presented as part of Lyric's mainstage opera season. There will be evening performances on ...
|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 ...
|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 ...
|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 ...
|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 Partyan immersive Halloween experience that brings to life in vivid technicolor the world of the cult-classic filmdirected by ...
|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 coreannounced 8:46 (Breathing Room), a new play festival of four commissioned plays each eight ...
|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 ...
|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 ...
|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 ...
|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 ...