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 2022-06-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW Lighthouses in the Desert
by Mary Shen Barnidge
2021-11-27

This article shared 2096 times since Sat Nov 27, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Title: Lighthouses in the Desert. Playwright: Richard James Zieman

At: Schwartz Stage at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark St. Tickets: $25; GlassAppleTheatre.com . Runs through: Dec. 19

Nowadays, the term "one-act play" can be applied to nearly any intermissionless dialogue—preliminary sketches, excerpted scenes or workshop exercises alike. At one time, however, it defined a play that, though short in duration, exhibited all the structural elements and tradecraft found in its lengthier cousins. Amid the anomaly of a world becoming ever more fragmented, it comes as no surprise that writers' imaginations should turn from celebrations of existential enigmas to seek security within the boundaries of humble citizens grappling with microcosmic problems.

Our setting is a shabby single-room apartment—once comfortably cozy, but now sadly neglected—in a large, noisy city. Below the mail slot is a pile of notices proclaiming the building's imminent demolition, but don't be fooled by the boxes of manuscript and newspaper clippings scattered about its elderly tenant's floor and tabletops. Gail has no intention of relocating, but is instead concocting a scheme to provide sex worker Toni, her neighbor across the hall, a fresh start in life. As both of these urban castaways strive to ignore the encroaching eviction date through stubborn denial and dogged inertia, the latter shares the saga of her escape from a series of "husbands" procured by a father willing to surrender his daughter in payment for his gambling debts, while the former reminisces about a life of drudgery spent slinging coffee in diners and spinning extravagant fantasies about her customers.

There's one other character onstage, however—a server in a pink uniform who is identified in the playbill as "the waitress"—someone who offers Gail counsel and commentary, but vanishes whenever Toni is present. Is she a lingering specter of Gail's youthful self, a hallucination conjured by an increasingly befuddled mind, or an angel of death robed in an apron and Keds?

If this were a Pinter play, we would detect hints of menace pointing us toward its probable ending, likewise the ego-driven contrivances of Edward Albee and the circle of playwrights associated with the Caffe Cino in the mid-1960s, but author Richard James Zieman rejects the temptation to showiness. Under the guidance of Glass Apple director Cheryl Snodgrass, Ellen Shaw's isolated Gail, Fawn Johnstin's street-toughened Toni and Kristin Doty's mysterious observer navigate the relentlessly naturalistic environment invoked by scenic designer Lauren M. Nichols, lighting designer Jessica Neill, costume designer Tina Haglund Spitza and sound designer DJ Douglass (whose score of passing traffic and EMS sirens are realistic enough to have originated outside on Clark Street) to remind us—as did Horton Foote's weary travelers and, more recently, Lanford Wilson's derelict drifters—that resilience is a fragile commodity in times of widespread social upheaval.


This article shared 2096 times since Sat Nov 27, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

THEATER Noel Coward's 'Hay Fever' to open Sept. 4 at City Lit 2022-08-18
- Producer and Artistic Director Terry McCabe will direct Noel Coward's 1924 comedy Hay Fever as the final production of City Lit Theater's 41st season. (It replaces the previously announced Aztec Human Sacrifice, which has been moved ...


Gay News

THEATER Red Summer, connecting the 1919 Chicago race riots to present-day Chicago, is Sept. 16-25 2022-08-14
-- From a press release - University Park, IL—Governors State University's Center for Performing Arts announces the world premiere of Red Summer written by Lookingglass Theatre's Andrew White and MPAACT's Shepsu Aakhu, composed by Shawn Wallace ...


Gay News

THEATER Kokandy's 'Sweeney Todd' running Sept. 8-Nov. 6 2022-08-12
- Kokandy Productions will continue its 10th-anniversary season with a revival of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street that will run Sept. 8-Nov. 6. The production will feature music and lyrics by Sondheim, ...


Gay News

COMEDY Talking with 'World' traveler Annick Adelle 2022-08-11
- Bay Area attorney Annick Adelle has decided to face one of her biggest fears: stand-up comedy. After starting in 2016, she is releasing her own album and touring throughout the United States. ...


Gay News

Congo Square Theatre's 'What to Send Up When It Goes Down' at Lookingglass on Sept. 24-Oct. 16 2022-08-10
-- From a press release - CHICAGO (Aug. 10, 2022)—Congo Square Theatre Company, one of the nation's premier African American ensemble theater companies, and Lookingglass Theatre Company announce that single tickets are now on sale for ...


Gay News

Billy Masters 2022-08-08
- "I wasn't trying to have his career because he sings, he dances. I'm barely a single threat. I'm just an actor."—Tuc Watkins, explaining how he emulated the career trajectory of Kevin Kline— to the best of ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Jane Lynch, Dwayne Johnson, 'Star Trek,' Beyonce, Shea Coulee 2022-08-07
- NBC has renewed the Jane Lynch-hosted game show Weakest Link for a third season, Variety noted. Season three will run for 20 episodes. The series is based on a British format distributed by BBC Studios that ...


Gay News

Casting announced for queer-centered play 'St. Sebastian' 2022-08-05
- Refracted Theatre Company announced casting for its world premiere of Andrew Kramer's dark comedy St. Sebastian, directed by Artistic Director Graham Miller. The play features Nolan Robinson, Mack Spotts and ...


Gay News

Angelica Ross to be first trans lead in Broadway's 'Chicago' 2022-08-04
- Trans actors have made all sorts of impressions on Broadway, but former Chicagoan Angelica Ross has set a precedent. Next month, the leading role of fame-hungry murderess Roxie Hart will be played by Angelica Ross. Ross ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Chicago Latino Theater Alliance Executive Director Myrna Salazar dies at 75 2022-08-04
- The Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA) announced that co-founder and Executive Director Myrna Salazar passed away Aug. 3—two weeks after celebrating her 75th birthday. According to a press release, "Salazar ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Cabaret' coming to Metropolis Arts on Sept. 15 2022-08-02
- Musical Broadway classic and hit film Cabaret re-creates the decadent and complicated world of 1929 Berlin at the Arlington Heights venue Metropolis Performing Arts Centre on Sept. 15-Oct. 22. Cabaret is Kander and Ebb's legendary musical ...


Gay News

Oak Park Festival Theatre's 'The Winter's Tale' running thru Aug. 20 2022-08-02
- Oak Park Festival Theatre's The Winter's Tale will run at Austin Gardens (167 Forest Ave., Oak Park) through Sunday, Aug. 20. The Winter's Tale marks Oak Park Festival Theatre's return to the stage after a devastating ...


Gay News

Story Jam and Cerqua Rivera collaboration on July 27 at Artifact Events 2022-07-25
- Story Jam's next storytelling show—in a series of monthly shows at Artifact Events —will take place Wed., July 27, at 7:30 p.m. at 4325 N. Ravenswood Ave. "Living Truth: True Stories" is a storytelling collaboration with ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Broadway, 'Game of Thrones' prequel, Dexter Mayfield, Shania Twain 2022-07-24
- The Broadway League announced that theaters will continue their recently adopted mask-optional policy for audiences at least through August, Deadline reported. The mask-optional policy—in which audiences are encouraged but not ...


Gay News

THEATER 'The Mamalogues' in Evanston on July 23-Aug. 7 2022-07-19
- The Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre will present Lisa B. Thompson's The Mamalogues—an evening of monologues about the experience of parenting while Black, unmarried and middle-class in the age of anxiety—from July 23 to Aug. 7 at the Noyes ...


 



Copyright © 2022 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
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     
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.