WINDY CITY TIMES
||THEATER REVIEW My Name Is Inanna
by Mary Shen Barnidge
This article shared 2023 times since Wed Nov 3, 2021
Title: My Name Is Inanna. Playwright: Ezzat Goushegir
At: Red Tape Theatre at The Ready, 4546 N. Western Ave. Tickets: Free; RedTapeTheatre.org . Runs through: Dec. 11
Given the propensity of pre-Christian deities to behave as inconstantly as the natural world they explicated, it should come as no surprise that Inanna one of the oldest in the divine pantheon, the arbiter of love AND waremerges a goddess of many names, ancestors and contradictions. She is also the protector most frequently invoked by Muslim womenalong with Dumuzi, her husband/lover/life partner (depending on the translation) and Ereshkigal, her beloved sister now dwelling with the dead in the Underworldto ennoble their suffering in times of adversity.
Among her namesakes in playwright Ezzat Goushegir's gallery of avatars are a prisoner in Iran, arrested for participating in a peace protest, and another detained in a North American jail after being targeted by DHS during an anti-war demonstration. Other present-day incarnations of Inanna include a lovesick teenager executed by vigilantes for the crime of flirting across tribal boundaries; an immigrant single mother employed as a department-store cosmetician chafing under the stress of sales deadlines; and a guerilla-theater actress who portrays Euripedes' Medea as a restaurant worker from Fallujah harassed by her boss. Dumuzi and Ereshkigal also appear in various earthly guises.
Goushegir freely admits to drawing on a number of sources in the compilation of her narrative's episodic content, so any confusion engendered by the nebulous progress of its heroinewho might be a solitary pilgrim on an individual journey, or a time-transcending global Everywomanmay be intentional. When a region's history is that of continuous strife (in one scene, a widow declares that her husband died in the war, only to have her interrogator reply "Which war?"), don't they eventually become simply ONE endless war? When a woman is repeatedly bullied by men, what does it matter who or where the deed occurs?
Playgoers viewing the dramatic action through a lens of international politics may busy themselves with identifying specific eras and locales referenced therein, as those of literary bent may ponder the author's extensive quoting of Jalal ad-Din Mohammad Rumi (the chief chroniclerand most erotic interpreterof the Inanna myth). These are activities for later pursuit, however, since the experience dominating the minutes spent in the intimate confines of Red Tape Theatre's storefront stage is that of engagement generated by a multimedia collage of instrumental and vocal music, ethnic dance, spoken-word poetry, pre-recorded documentary footage and ingenious real-time hand-held video feedall culminating in kaleidoscopic spectacle celebrating the eternal Inanna and showcasing the talents of the four-person ensemble led by Maryam Abdi.
This article shared 2023 times since Wed Nov 3, 2021
| ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE|
|THEATER REVIEW Toni Stone at the Goodman 2023-02-07|
Review by Tracy Baim - Lydia R. Diamond's original play, Toni Stone, is simply wonderful on all levels. Directed by Ron OJ Parson in its Chicago premiere at the Goodman Theatre, the play is about the first known woman to play ...
|The Jeff Awards announces 2023 Non-Equity theater award nominations 2023-02-05|
--From a press release - ChicagoThe Joseph Jefferson Awards announces its nominations for theater excellence among Non-Equity theater. The Non-Equity awards presented in 2023 spotlight 167 theater artists across 28 categories of excellence in theater ...
|SHOWBIZ Jerrod Carmichael, Alan Cumming, Andre Leon Talley, AIDS drama 2023-02-05|
- Openly gay stand-up comic and recent Golden Globes host Jerrod Carmichael is set to star in a comedy documentary series for HBO, according to Entertainment Weekly. The yet-untitled series will center on Carmichael's personal life, following ...
|THEATER REVIEW Andy Warhol in Iran juggles art, celebrity and geopolitics 2023-02-01|
- Andy Warhol in Iran. Playwright: Brent Askari At: Northlight Theatre at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie Tickets: 847-673-6300 or www.Northlight.org; $30-$89. Runs through Feb. 19 The prolific 20th century gay ...
|Chicago theater charges on through the cold months 2023-01-31|
- The ongoing 2022-2023 theater seasonroughly September to Junewill be the first complete production season in Chicago in three years. A few troupes cautiously returned to live performances late last spring, but most companies waited until the ...
|Billy Porter discusses his fashion choices, personal ambitions 2023-01-30|
- Billy Porter—the Tony, Emmy and Grammy winner—needs no introduction—especially to the many fans of his character Pray Tell on Ryan Murphy's hit TV series Pose. Coming up exclusively in theaters Feb. 3, Porter will star as ...
|Des Plaines Theater cancels anti-LGBTQ hate group event after outcry from citizens 2023-01-20|
- DuPage County-based Awake Illinois was set to hold an event called "Out of the Echo Chamber: Coalition for Kids" at the city-owned, but not city-operated, Des Plaines Theatre Wednesday, Feb. 8. This event has now been ...
|Theater Review: tick, tick...BOOM! 2023-01-19|
- One of the wonders of live theater is that old works can be revived and reinterpreted to respond to changes in culture and society. Often a new directorial approach can make tried-and-true material feel fresh and ...
|Theater Review: Princess Ivona is a dark but comic portrait of power 2023-01-19|
- Playwright: Witold Gombrowicz. At: Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland St. Tickets: 773-384-0494 or www.trapdoortheatre.com; $25 (two-for-one admission Thursdays) Runs through Feb. 18 Trap Door Theatre is now tackling the ...
|Jordan Vasquez treats Chicago to Fosse's Chicago 2023-01-12|
- Actor and openly gay performer Jordan Vasquez, an Illinois native now living in New York City, is giving Chicago audiences "the old razzle dazzle" in the fabulous musical Chicago. This dynamically talented performer brings with him ...
|SHOWBIZ Diversity report, Dave Bautista, Leslie Jordan, greatest singers 2023-01-08|
- The USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative's latest "Inclusion in the Director's Chair" report analyzes the gender and race/ethnicity of the directors behind last year's 100 highest-grossing movies in the country, while the San Diego State Center ...
|SHOWBIZ Best in theater, TV, film and music; Obama's favorites; 'Glass Onion' 2022-12-31|
- Deadline's Broadway critic revealed his picks for the best of 2022. Leopoldstadt topped his list, but other productions included Kimberly Akimbo, Some Like It Hot, Into the Woods, Hangmen, Ain't No Mo', A Strange Loop, Topdog/Underdog, ...
|PrideArts, Chicago drag artists co-produce story of a drag family's tribulations 2022-12-22|
-- From a press release - CHICAGO — PrideArts will celebrate the arrival of the year 2023 by teaming up with the Chicago drag performers Tirrany Reigns and Ramona Mirage to stage Reigns' original Queer Family Dramedy, set just after New Year's ...
|Oak Park Festival Theatre makes history with new artistic director 2022-12-20|
- The Oak Park Festival Theatre (OPFT)—the oldest professional classical theater in the Midwest—announced that Peter G. Andersen will be joining the company as its new artistic director in January 2023. It is the first time that a person ...
|SHOWBIZ Best and worst films, Broadway, Adam Lambert, 'Proud Family,' women's hockey 2022-12-18|
- IndieWire revealed its list of the best LGBTQ+ films and TV series of 2022. Just some of the selections included Benediction, Bros, Do Revenge, Fire Island, Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Inspection, Los Espookys, P-Valley, ...