WINDY CITY TIMES
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times
This article shared 3540 times since Wed Aug 13, 2014
Playwright: Marvin Eduardo Quijada. At: Silent Theatre Company at 1914 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets: www.silenttheatre.com; $15-$20. Runs through: Aug. 31
As befits its name, Silent Theatre Company has built a reputation through the years for its dedication to pantomimed storytelling and its very stylized approach to black-and-white sets, costuming and makeup.
So if you've previously seen a trademark black-and-white Silent Theatre show, you might be taken aback by the colorful backstage dressing room set that greets you for the new collaboration known as The Dueling Gentlemen. You might also have to adjust to the Silent Theatre creative hub space which feels just like an industrial artist's loft apartment that reverberates along to the passing Blue Line CTA trains near the Western stop.
But once you get over the surroundings and the addition of color, the typical Silent Theatre style of storytelling kicks into high gear in The Dueling Gentlemen with its tale tied to a team of vaudeville performers and their rapidly deteriorating professional and personal relationship.
Created and performed by Marvin Eduardo Quijada, The Dueling Gentlemen focuses on the collaboration between Peter the Perfectionist ( Quijada ) and Albert the Alcoholic ( Dan Howard ), and their oft-performed two-man vaudeville act called The Ugly Blonde. The show starts with this very funny and dramatic routine while Albert and Peter play roles such as thwarted suitor, accepted suitor, marrying priest and of course, the title Ugly Blonde.
But then we get a glimpse of their professional disharmony backstage, as Albert rails against his five-year contract while Marvin tries to maintain the quality of their performances. Things turn murderous by the end, all the while Ian Paul Custer providing solid musical accompaniment as the Guy on the Piano, while stage manager Shannon Evans keeps things apace with the proper timing of the projected title cards and snippets of written dialogue.
The Dueling Gentlemen certainly deserves praise for its main performances as Quijada and Howard get across the seething anger and resentment of two vaudevillians who really wish they were either better behaved or free to offer more variety in performance. But the repeated play-within-a-play routine of The Ugly Blonde gets a tad tiresome after a while, especially since Quijada and Howard need to make the performance breakdowns more distinct and dramatic. ( Otherwise, audiences will likely compare them unfavorably to Michael Frayn's celebrated 1982 backstage theater farce Noises Off. )
And at a running time of just over an hour, The Dueling Gentlemen could also have used more plot machinations to offer more dramatic meat to the project. But as a piece of theatrical silent theater, Silent Theatre definitely lives up to its name again with The Dueling Gentlemeneven with the potentially unsettling addition of color.
This article shared 3540 times since Wed Aug 13, 2014
| ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE|
|SHOWBIZ Coming-out film, James Baldwin, Madonna, 'White Lotus,' women's soccer 2023-03-31|
- Director/co-writer Shariff Nasr's intimate coming-out drama El Houb will be out on Digital and DVD on April 4 via Dark Star Pictures (and in L.A. theaters on April 7), per a press release. The film's decorated ...
|House Musical: Coming of Age in the Age of House, celebrating the house music scene, to run April 20 - 30 2023-03-30|
--From a press release - Chicago, Illinois (March 30, 2023) — Campsongs Productions today announced the on-sale of world premiere musical House Musical: Coming of Age in the Age of House, celebrating Chicago's famed house music scene at the legendary Warehouse ...
|Hell in a Handbag Productions premieres intergalactic queer extravaganza 'I Promised Myself to Live Faster' 2023-03-29|
--From a press release - Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to continue its 21st season with the Chicago premiere of I Promised Myself to Live Faster, an intergalactic queer extravaganza ...
|Book of Mormon's Sam Nackman knocks on Cadillac Palace door 2023-03-28|
- The Book of Mormon is returning to Chicago on a mission to convert new followers into the musical fold. The masterminds behind the satirical cartoon series South Park, Matt Stone and Trey Parker created a smash ...
|The Jeff Awards announces recipients of 49th- anniversary non-Equity theater honors 2023-03-28|
--From a press release - MARCH 27, 2023 — CHICAGO — In its 49th anniversary celebration of non-Equity theater excellence, the Jeff Awards recognized 35 award recipients selected from among 167 theater artist nominees across 28 artistic and technical categories. Awar ...
|SHOWBIZ 'Joy Ride,' Cynthia Erivo, David Bowie, March Madness, Kevin Bacon 2023-03-25|
Video below - The first trailer for the upcoming comedy Joy Ride has been released, Out noted. The movie stars Ashley Park, queer Oscar nominee Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All At Once), bisexual comedian Sherry Cola (Good Trouble) and ...
|Kokandy Productions announces 2023 Season 2023-03-22|
--From a press release - CHICAGO (March 22, 2023) — Kokandy Productions is thrilled to announce its 2023 season, including two fully produced musicals, plus plans for the return of the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival. This summer, Kokandy will dive into ...
|Opera Preview: Life of gay World War II hero Alan Turing transformed into a world-premiere opera 2023-03-17|
- It has taken a decade for The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing to grow from an idea into a full- fledged opera. Chicago Opera Theater stages the world premiere of composer Justine F. Chen and ...
|Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project to present dance concert 'Sans Pareil' 2023-03-14|
--From a press release - Deeply Rooted Dance Theater joins the Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project again to take the stage in a dance concert entitled Sans Pareil—French for "unparalleled," a nod to the Haitian lineage of Chicago's founder, Jean-Baptiste Pointe ...
|House Musical, Coming of Age in the Age of House, coming to Hoover-Leppen Theatre 2023-03-14|
--From a press release - Campsongs Productions presents the world premiere of House Musical - Coming of Age in the Age of House, with book by Marcus Waller, music by Scott Free (with Michael Foley) and lyrics by Scott Free and ...
|RuPaul's Drag Race WERQ THE WORLD in Chicago Aug. 4 2023-03-12|
--From a press release - RuPaul's Drag Race WERQ THE WORLD, the largest drag show on earth, returns in 2023 with a show in Chicago Aug. 4 and in 100+ cities across the United States, Canada, Australia, Asia, Europe and Mexico! ...
|SHOWBIZ Little Richard, Indigo Girls, Rodriguez's honor, dance film, Pedro Pascal 2023-03-10|
Video below - Produced by Bungalow Media + Entertainment for CNN Films and HBO Max, in association with Rolling Stone Films, director Lisa Cortes' Sundance opening-night documentary Little Richard: I Am Everything will debut in theaters and on VOD ...
|Steppenwolf Theatre Company's 2023 Gala May 13 at The Old Post Office 2023-03-06|
--From a press release - CHICAGO (March 6, 2023) — The Steppenwolf Ensemble and Board of Trustees are pleased to host Steppenwolf 2023 Galaan unforgettable evening celebrating 47 years of powerful and thought-provoking storytelling. Emceed ...
|Center on Halsted presents annual Intergenerational Talent Show 2023-03-06|
- On March 2, Center on Halsted hosted its Fifth Annual Intergenerational Talent Show, featuring performances from participants from the Youth and Family Services and the Senior Services programs. Participants in the free event presented a program ...
|SHOWBIZ Wanda Sykes, Jonas Brothers, 'Queen of Versailles,' 'Bloodshed' 2023-03-04|
Adam Lambert video below - Award-winning comedian Wanda Sykes' new comedy special, I'm An Entertainer, will premiere globally on Netflix on May 23, a press release announced. The special, directed by Linda Mendoza, was filmed in early February 2023 at Philadelphia's ...
|WORLD Venezuela code, Oxfam, Bosnia items, 'Brokeback,' Pope Francis|
|NATIONAL 'Don't Say Gay,' anti-trans bills, gay Irish leader visits, gay Calif. mayor|
|SHOWBIZ 'Joy Ride,' Cynthia Erivo, David Bowie, March Madness, Kevin Bacon|
|Michaela Jae Rodriguez honored at HRC dinner|
|Biden appoints Laura Ricketts to Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition|