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 Pilgrims
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times
2017-06-14

This article shared 317 times since Wed Jun 14, 2017
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Claire Kiechel. At: The Gift Theatre, 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets: 773-283-7071 or TheGiftTheatre.org; $30-$40. Runs through: July 30

Claire Kiechel's world-premiere play Pilgrims is billed as a sci-fi drama. But its core is a gripping mystery between two strangers hinging on shifting male-female power dynamics.

The two principal characters are "The Soldier" ( a hulking and often menacing Ed Flynn ), who is forced to share the same spaceship cabin with "The Girl" ( an overly enthusiastic Janelle Villas ). She's keen to reinvent herself on a far-off planet, and even to find a spouse right away to help repopulate the human race.

The laconic Soldier, who has previously battled aliens, has other ideas. He angrily makes his displeasure about the loss of privacy known to the personal robotic stewardess called "Jasmine" ( a hilariously perky Brittany Burch ). Yet events conspire to keep the three trapped in their tiny cabin for weeks on end.

One of the main strengths of Pilgrims is how Kiechel keeps the audience guessing about the ulterior motives of both the Soldier and the Girl. Clearly the Soldier is damaged in some way by his military service. But the Girl has her own past problems, too.

Kiechel and co-directors Michael Patrick Thornton and Jessica Thebus also build tension ( and audiences guessing ) by illustrating upsetting scenarios between scenes ( or as scenes themselves ). These could be foreshadowed events that will tragically play out, or possibly disturbing dreams of the Soldier or the Girl.

Now the ultimate revelation of the two characters' past traumas might not live up to all the imaginative speculation that swirls throughout the play. Kiechels device of game-playing for the Girl to ferret out information from the Soldier can also feel a tad too precious ( though the early battle for the bathroom does harken back to the one between Blanche and Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire ).

Kiechel's Pilgrims provides a sturdy dramatic framework for much imagination to take flight for both audiences and the production's actors and design team. The cast and crew at The Gift grab onto these glories of Pilgrims and create plenty of dramatic and design magic.

With Arnel Sancianco's elevated hotel-room set design, lighting designer Heather Gilbert and sound designer Chris Kriz all expertly collaborate to create a futuristic and claustrophobic environment ( though audiences in the first row may have to crane their necks a tad too long ). The very attractive cast also skillfully works to keep audiences constantly guessing.

It's often said that sci-fi is more a reflection of the times it was created in rather than a true prediction of future events. So with Pilgrims, the paranoia over whom to trust and what is real or alternative reality certainly rings true for this very uncomfortable time full of people venting pent-up anger and sharing misinformation.


This article shared 317 times since Wed Jun 14, 2017
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

THEATER 'A Michael Martin Tribute' Nov. 11-28 2021-10-27
- Curious Theatre Branch will host a three-week celebration of the solo performance monologues of the late Michael Martin, curated by Kelly Anchors. A Michael Martin Tribute will take place Nov. 11-28 at Pride Arts Center, 4139 ...


Gay News

THEATER Melissa Gilbert joins 'Rehab' cast with Dan Butler 2021-10-25
- Melissa Gilbert—an Emmy-winning and Golden Globe-nominated actor, director, producer and New York Times best-selling author known for her role on TV's Little House on the Prairie—will join the cast of the upcoming world premiere of When ...


Gay News

REVIEW Randy Rainbow tackles politics, shows talent at The Chicago Theatre 2021-10-24
- YouTube sensation Randy Rainbow brought The Pink Glasses Tour to The Chicago Theatre on Oct. 22. Best known for videos that parody musical numbers with a focus on politics, the heavily curated show began with a ...


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 ...


 



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.