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 The Holiday Radio Show: 1944
by Mary Shen Barnidge
2019-12-16

This article shared 2762 times since Mon Dec 16, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Gabriella Bonamici, Andre Richardson Hogan II, Laura Scruggs, Rolfe Sick, Jason Paul Smith.

At: Three Cat Productions at the Berger Park Coach House, 6205 N. Sheridan Rd. Tickets: ThreeCatProductions.com and 312-970-9840; $15-$25. Runs through: Jan. 4

In 2017, the playwrights of the Three Cat "Artists Incubator" collaborated on a holiday show replicating a live radio broadcast in 1942, replete with music of the period, messages to troops stationed overseas and tributes to the patriotic "Home Front" volunteers.

When this idea proved successful, Three Cat returned the following year with another faux-radio program, this one set in 1943, composed of newly collected material reflecting a society struggling against despair during a bleak chapter in our history. Audiences in 2019 may be comforted by hindsight regarding THAT war, but so long as families and sweethearts are still forced to spend the holidays far from loved ones, it might as well be 1944.

Our hosts for this occasion are, not surprisingly, all female—even the traditionally male-operated technical equipment is helmed by a woman, with a pianist representing the sole man in the cast. Our emcees are solo chanteuses Dorothy Johnson and Ivy Brown, this year flanked by a trio of warblers wearing non-regulation WAC uniforms ( no nylon stockings, though—there's a war on, you know ).

The evening's agenda is dominated by songs, seasonal and secular, some familiar and some—less so. For example, the song listed in the playbill as "Santa Claus Is Coming" is NOT the "Coming To Town" chestnut, but a vintage 1914 ditty heralding the end of a different war. Even standard repertoire takes on a fresh energy with jazz arrangements by music director/arranger Roy Freeman, like the "Angel" medley combining the "Hark! The Herald" and "We Have Heard on High" carols rendered with a hint of boogie-woogie tempo.

The roster also encompasses dramatic dialogues adapted from authors such as Mark Twain, Willa Cather, Charles Dickens—whose "Ebesneezer McScrooge" now conducts business from his office on LaSalle Street and hoards ration coupons—and African-American journalist Augustus M. Hodges' 1894 poem "The Christmas Reunion Down At Martinsville." Most stirring, however, are the letters, read over the air, reflecting the loneliness of sons, husbands and fathers stranded on military bases, of daughters, wives and mothers training as nurses or toiling in munitions factories and of children exiled to live with grandparents for the duration. Torchlit ballads like "The Man I Love" and "My Buddy" heighten the wistful melancholy of the moment.

The spartan quarters in the Berger Park Coach House, far from detracting from the play's setting, actually enhance the ambience. ( For instance, a comfy chair flanked by decorated trees at stage-side offers a cozy backdrop for bravely cheerful photographs. ) Playgoers preferring snark to sentiment are warned that director Jason Paul Smith never permits cutesy offstage sound-effects to steal focus, and that, yes, a 48-star flag will be saluted with a chorus of "America the Beautiful" but those willing to imagine an age before television and Skype set us right down amid the shrapnel will enjoy this reminder of how our country once kept the fires burning through a dark and seemingly endless winter.


This article shared 2762 times since Mon Dec 16, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

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 ...


Gay News

THEATER 'The Devil Wears Prada' cast members dish about musical's Chicago debut 2022-07-18
- "All right, everyone! Gird your loins" as a stage musical version of The Devil Wears Prada is set for a world premiere in the Windy City this July as part of the lineup for Broadway in Chicago. Tony Award winner Beth ...


 



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.