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
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW Even Longer and Farther Away
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times
2016-04-27

This article shared 1049 times since Wed Apr 27, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Chelsea Marcantel. At: The New Colony at Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets: www.thenewcolony.org; $20-$25. Runs through: May 15

There are a lot of well-worn character stereotypes and storytelling tropes in Even Longer and Farther Away, Chelsea Marcantel's world-premiere drama for The New Colony. Yet director Thrisa Hodits' displays a clever way of rethinking a Den Theatre space to initially throw off audiences in a slightly off-kilter environmental staging. It all helps to makes Marcantel's patchy and symbol-filled material feel more substantial.

While some audience members are allowed to sit back in traditional theater seats lining the perimeter, Hodits allows others to be in the middle of the action by sitting at tables in a quirky and magical Appalachian Mountain resort. This creates an interesting dynamic as audience members get up close and personal to the main characters.

Yet as the play progresses, the onstage audience is apparently meant to disappear when the main conflict arises as Alexis ( Amanda Raquel Martinez ) and her boyfriend, Jack ( Joe Lino ), amazingly catch up with her embittered half-brother Elliot ( Patriac Coakley ) and his gay best friend, Roy ( Omer Abbas Salem ). Both half-siblings are trying to honor their late father by hiking the entire Appalachian Trail with part of his cremated remains, but Elliot has far more personal baggage.

Also working through her lost longing and resentment is the youngish resort employee Nayda ( Morgan McNaught ), who has what becomes an odd familial relationship to the place's owner, Trudy ( a commanding and comforting Deanna Reed-Foster ). Elliot wants to press on, but Trudy insists that they listen to her metaphoric and literal stories and stay for the next day's festival.

Finding out the interlinking connections between the characters keeps interest throughout Even Longer and Farther Away, but it doesn't hide the fact that Marcantel's writing also trades in stereotypical characters like the "magical negro" or the "sassy gay friend." Luckily, the performances under Hodits' direction make these types more full-bodied and well-rounded people, especially in dedicated turns by Reed-Foster and Salem.

There's also a good sibling rivalry dynamic that plays out between Coakley ( unafraid to be unlikable as the pushy and resentful Elliot ) and Martinez ( ever the mender, as Alexis ). Lino also milks the most humor he can in the smaller role of Jack.

I only wish that McNaught brought more apparent world-weariness to Nayda, who is later revealed to be more than she appears to be. Once this revelation happens, McNaught's even-keel performance doesn't seem to plumb the depths necessary for her troubled character.

Even though Marcantel's writing in Even Longer and Farther Away is ultimately uneven, the creative staging by Hodits and her largely polished cast serve to be intriguing concealers. Here it's the approach that is sometimes more intriguing than the content.


This article shared 1049 times since Wed Apr 27, 2016
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

Hell in a Handbag Productions to present Out, Darn Spot! 2021-01-15
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Jan. 15, 2021) — Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to present the campy comedyOut, Darn Spot!, written by and starring ensemble member Tyler Anthony Smith* and directed, filmed and edited by Stephanie Shaw. ...


Gay News

Artemisia Theatre announces entirely virtual 2021 season 2021-01-13
--From a press release - CHICAGO - In order to continue its strong feminist story-telling tradition, Artemisia Theatre announces an entirely virtual 2021 season. The new season includes two World Premiere theater productions and eight audio performances airing on its podcast ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Laverne Cox, lesbian coach, Jim Parsons, 'Brokeback,' theater items 2021-01-11
- Laverne Cox is teaming with Meryl Streep and Rashida Jones to executive-produce a new documentary exploring one of the most critical issues at the intersection of race, feminism, and power: the sex industry, out.com noted. Sell/Buy/Date ...


Gay News

African American Arts Alliance, Black Ensemble to present MLK event Jan. 18 2021-01-08
- The African American Arts Alliance of Chicago and Black Ensemble Theater will present the 10th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration on Monday, Jan. 18, at 6 p.m. The online event will be free. This ...


Gay News

Rip Nelson Holiday Quarantine Special extended through Jan. 17 2021-01-06
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Jan. 4, 2021) — Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to announce one additional week of performances of its streaming holiday hit The Rip Nelson Holiday Quarantine Special, now playing through Jan. 17, 2021. ...


Gay News

Hell in a Handbag announces annual benefit, "The Morning After" 2020-12-23
- CHICAGO (Dec. 17, 2020) — Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to announce its annual benefit "The Morning After," featuring the streaming world premiere of the smash hit musical that started it all for them, ...


Gay News

PrideArts to screen one-night-only live virtual readings 2020-12-21
--From a press release - PrideArts series of one-night-only live virtual readings resumes with TWELFTH NIGHT on the Twelfth of January Peter Vamvakas to direct a cast of seven Click here for a Word doc version of this release CHICAGO — ...


Gay News

Bechdel Fest 8 to highlight femme, female-identifying, non-binary, trans, queer actors 2020-12-21
- Broken Nose Theatre (BNT) will present Bechdel Fest 8: Realign—the company’s annual festival of new short plays featuring an ensemble of femme, female-identifying, non-binary, trans and queer actors talking about things other than men. ...


Gay News

OUTSpoken: LGBTQ storytelling event Jan. 5 on Zoom 2020-12-16
- Another OUTspoken Storytelling Night will offer the perspective of four Chicagoans telling life stories from their LGBTQ+ viewpoint or that of their close friends and relatives, Tuesday, Jan. 5, starting at 7 p.m. on Zoom. The ...


Gay News

Pegasus holding Young Playwrights Festival Jan. 7-31 2020-12-10
- On Jan. 7-31, Pegasus Theatre Chicago is presenting the 34th Young Playwrights Festival (YPF), which selects winning high school-age scribes to apprentice with theater professionals to workshop and produce their ...


Gay News

THEATER About Face airing festival with Black LGBTQ+ artists 2020-12-04
- About Face Theatre is launching its 25th season with Kickback—an online festival of 10 newly commissioned short plays and performances by Black LGBTQ+ artists, inspired by the Rebuild Foundation's collections at the Stony Island Arts Bank. ...


Gay News

Black Ensemble Theater's 'Holiday' event Dec. 18-25 2020-12-03
- The Black Ensemble Theater is celebrating the 2020 holiday season with The Black Ensemble Virtual Holiday Extravaganza, written and directed by Producing Managing Director Daryl D. Brooks. Filmed from the performers' homes and the theater, the ...


Gay News

Billy Masters 2020-11-30
- "Will you issue pardons before leaving office? Will you be issuing a pardon for yourself?"—A reporter asked El Presidente this question after the traditional pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkeys. And by turkey, we don't mean anyone ...


Gay News

'The Prom' out Dec. 11 on Netflix 2020-11-27
- The Prom—a musical-comedy film directed by Ryan Murphy and adapted by Chad Beguelin and Bob Martin (from their and Matthew Sklar's 2018 Broadway musical of the same name)—will be out on Netflix on Dec. 11. The ...


Gay News

THEATER Harry Lennix to direct Dec. 13 reading of 'Mercy' 2020-11-20
- Northlight Theatre will present an Interplay New Play Development Program reading of Mercy, written by Felicia Oduh and directed by Harry Lennix (known for his acting roles on TV shows such as The Blacklist and Billions ...


 



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.