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 Mad Beat Hip and Gone
by Karen Topham
2019-05-07

This article shared 1612 times since Tue May 7, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Steven Dietz

At: The Edge Off Broadway, 1133 W. Catalpa Ave. Tickets: PrometheanTheatre.org . Runs through: June 2

There is still something utterly compelling about the Beat Poets of the middle of the 20th century and the iconic cross-country book On The Road, by Jack Kerouac. Playwright Steven Dietz recognizes this in his play Mad Beat Hip and Gone—an homage to the Beats and their generation of "seekers," as he calls them in the play: young people frustrated by the issues of the older generation who left home to search for truth, dharma, nirvana and Ecstasy amid the alcohol and marijuana smoke.

Dietz's play, which blends the realistic dialogue he is known for and some powerful Beat-influenced poetry, follows two utterly average young men from Kimball, Nebraska ( "Maybe we are not the people who people remember," one says ) who accidentally cross paths with Kerouac ( whom we never meet ). Danny and his friend Rich ( Michael Vizzi, eternally hopeful and optimistic ) have recently graduated from high school and recognize that the whole world is open to them, but they are unsure what to do with their lives. When Danny discovers that his father, whom he has long thought dead, might be alive after all, he and Rich take off from Kimball in a quixotic attempt to find the old man. In Denver, they cross paths with Kerouac again, and this time they both fall insanely in love with Honey ( Hilary Williams ), a hipster girl who is traveling with the poet.

Unbeknownst to them, Danny's father Albert ( Ted Hoerl in a generally understated, down-to-earth performance ) is in fact still alive, working as a gas station attendant and thinking of himself as a "ghost" while dispensing folk wisdom to passersby. Playing Danny's mother, Elaine Carlson is a kick as the kind of 40-something woman we'd call a "cougar" today as she openly flirts with Rich, whom she has known all of his life, now that he is "a man." Williams, too, is a joy: all youthful innocence seeking "ecstasy" with the help of pot and bennies.

Jess Hutchinson directs with a minimalist approach and a sensitive touch, getting excellent performances from her whole cast, but none finer than King, who captures the very complicated journey of Danny from a fatherless childhood defined by a lie to an equally fatherless manhood defined by the wanderlust and poetry and "seeking" that were the Beats' hallmarks. Hutchinson gives King room in his powerful and poetic soliloquies to show off his character's vulnerabilities as well as his joys, and King is just outstanding.

Mad Beat Hip and Gone is a play about seeking a future that is always in motion, one that we cannot comprehend until we live it. Some choose safe routes; some choose roads that ultimately might entangle them. Some settle; some continue to seek. Either way, as Danny says, "there is only time and what it makes of us." And time is a key element of this play, both in the non-linear way in which we witness it and in the Beat philosophy that, as Honey puts it, "there's your life, all the parts of your life, past-present-future, dangling there where you can see them all at once, all together—suspended in the music of Time." Dietz has his prose and poetry both wind back to us in echoes as the play goes on, manifesting this concept. "It's funny how we go," Danny says, repeating an earlier line by Albert, and Dietz in this play—eschewing showing us a roadmap to life—just sits back like the Beats, watches it happen and enjoys the journey.


This article shared 1612 times since Tue May 7, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

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 ...


Gay News

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 ...


Gay News

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 ...


Gay News

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 ...


Gay News

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 Amazonas—the first Spanish-language work to be presented as part of Lyric's mainstage opera season. There will be evening performances on ...


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 ...


 



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.