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

THEATER REVIEW Amour
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times
2016-09-14

This article shared 322 times since Wed Sep 14, 2016
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Music: Michel Legrand; Libretto: Didier Van Cauwelaert in Jeremy Sams' English adaptation. At: Black Button Eyes Productions at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave. Tickets: 773-935-6875 or AmourChicago.com; $17-$32. Runs through: Oct. 8

There's an odd breed of theater fan that author Ken Mandelbaum labels as "flop collectors" in his 1992 book Not Since Carrie: 40 Years of Broadway Musical Flops. These flop collectors are essentially theater aficionados who seek out sinking shows before they close for a lifetime of malicious laughter about what went wrong.

Local flop collectors should be flocking to Black Button Eyes Productions' Chicago premiere of Amour, a Broadway musical that barely eked out 31 previews and 17 performances in 2002. But what they'll find is a beautiful bonbon of show that would have been slotted into Mandelbaum's flop chapter titled "Not Bad."

What helps make Amour stand out is its delightfully melodic sung-through score by prolific Academy Award-winning French composer Michel Legrand, who is probably best known for his film scores to The Umbrellas of Cherbourg ( 1964 ) and Yentl ( 1983 ). More problematic is Didier Van Cauwelaert's libretto presented here in Jeremy Sams' mostly amusing English translation.

Amour is inspired by Marcel Aymé's short story Le Passe-Muraille, which is about a mild-mannered Parisian clerk named Dusoleil ( Brian Fimoff ) who discovers he has the power to walk through walls. Amid post-World War II recovery, Dusoleil tests his newfound skills as both a thief to aid an aging prostitute ( Missy Wise ) and to mess with the head of a new domineering boss ( Kevin Webb ).

Yet ultimately, Dusoleil tries to gain the attention of the cloistered Isabelle ( Emily Goldberg ), who is trapped in a loveless marriage to an unfaithful prosecutor ( Greg Zawada ).

Despite its fragrantly French score, Amour is marred by a libretto full of plot holes ( it is never explained how the media gets a hold of Dusoleil's abilities ) and unnecessary character tangents ( as the socialistic painter played by Tommy Thurston doesn't really need a whole song ). Amour's wistfully mixed ending also probably didn't endear it to Broadway audiences.

On the plus side, Black Button Eyes' Amour features an impeccably strong ensemble who all clearly relish singing such gorgeous music and the acting challenges of inhabiting their comical and complex characters. One is almost able to overlook Michael Lewis' set of magenta and orange-colored walls and curtains that would be more appropriate as a unit set for the Arabian Nights rather than a new French fairy tale.

Within such a confined staging space, director Ed Rutherford succeeds at directing Amour's more intimate scenes with bare-bones precision. It's only during the sweeping orchestral moments as we see DuSoleil journey to and from work that Rutherford's staging stumbles a bit.

Flop collectors might be disappointed that Amour isn't an all-out disaster. Instead, audiences can marvel at Legrand's lovely score while also seeing how difficult it can be to successfully stage French whimsy.


This article shared 322 times since Wed Sep 14, 2016
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

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 ...


Gay News

Next OUTspoken 'Storytelling Night' Oct. 5 2021-09-27
--From a press release - Six Chicagoans will tell compelling stories with a LGBTQ+ perspective when another OUTspoken "Storytelling Night" takes place Tuesday, Oct. 5, starting at 7 p.m., at Sidetrack Bar, 3349 N. Halsted St. All attendees must be masked ...


 



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.