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 2021-12-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor


  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW The Killing Game
by Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times
2019-05-22

This article shared 2487 times since Wed May 22, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Eugene Ionesco, translated by Helen Gary Bishop

At: A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St. Tickets: 312-943-8722; ARedOrchidtheatre.org; $30-$40. Runs through: June 23

In the '50s-'60s, you couldn't escape French-Romanian absurdist playwright Eugene Ionesco ( 1909-1994 ).

His one-acts were the daily bread of university and community theaters; his longer works—such as Rhinoceros and Exit the King—were staged in Paris, London and New York with stars such as Zero Mostel and Laurence Oliver. This play was new in 1970—about when Ionesco's star began to wane.

In it, a swiftly -killing plague of unknown origins has struck town and blame quickly follows: it's the poor, the immigrants, the rich, the empowered; it's a government plot; it's divine punishment. People say "It has nothing to do with us" and "We haven't done anything wrong." Doctors declare death itself doesn't exist if people follow proper hygiene, and then the doctors drop dead. A review of a 1987 Chicago production called it a metaphor for AIDS.

Not seen locally in a dozen years, The Killing Game now fits our increasingly tribal contemporary world, and our own nation where the Donald promotes divisiveness and fear. Still, The Killing Game is hard to swallow—as much as one can admire this energetic production—because classic absurdist comedy no longer is in vogue.

The play is ostentatiously literate, using the medieval Dance of Death for inspiration and echoing end-of-civilization stories such as Lord of the Flies. It's often amusing and witty, especially when Ionesco plays with words, language and meanings. But it also is circular and repetitive, hammering home a few points in multiple parallel situations. Also, U.S. audiences generally prefer realism in theatre with sustained characters with whom they can empathize; but The Killing Game is none of that, with a sketch-like sequence of changing scenes and characters. Perhaps wisely, A Red Orchid performs a crisp translation of the play as a long one-act.

A really wonderful director, Dado, has staged this production with great imagination and vitality, incorporating musical chants ( medieval reference ), props shaped like body-part props ( there's just a touch of cannibalism ) and video ( Michael Shannon cameo ) among other devices. The ensemble of 13 actors—none of whom play a specifically named character—performs with energy and surprising focus given the play's checkerboard structure. Near the end, an ancient couple appears, oblivious to the death around them, enthusing about love and the world's beauty ... which seems to be the plague's antidote. If only it were that simple!

The Killing Game will not suit all tastes, but it should be seen. Absurdism as a style of theater remains far more popular in Europe than it ever was in the United States, so this production is a good way to broaden one's theatrical horizons. It's thoughtful, immensely theatrical and an ambitious choice for A Red Orchid.


This article shared 2487 times since Wed May 22, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

THEATER Red Orchid's 'The Moors' running through Feb. 27 2022-01-15
- A Red Orchid Theatre is running Jen Silverman's The Moors, directed by Artistic Director and Ensemble Member Kirsten Fitzgerald, through Feb. 27 at A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St. The plot is as follows: ...


Gay News

THEATER About Face announces cast of queer-themed 'Laced' 2022-01-14
- About Face Theatre begins its 27th season with the world premiere of Samantha Mueller's drama Laced, running March 17-April 16 at the Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. Set in the aftermath of the vandalism of ...


Gay News

Black Ensemble Theatre announces 2022 Season of Excellence: The Season of Healings 2022-01-14
-- From a press release - Chicago, IL—Black Ensemble Theater's Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor announces its 2022 Season of Excellence: The Season of Healings. The 2022 Season includes four World Premiere musicals showcasing the power ...


Gay News

THEATER DuSable, puppet company to run Toni Morrison's 'The Bluest Eye' 2022-01-13
- The DuSable Museum of African American History is partnering with the 4th Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival to present a production of The Bluest Eye, based on Toni Morrison's 1970 groundbreaking coming-of-age novel. The production will ...


Gay News

THEATER 'This Is Only a Test' Feb. 11-March 12 2022-01-12
- Broken Nose Theatre, a pay-what-you-can theater company, is welcoming back live audiences this winter with the world premiere of Eric Reyes Loo's drama This Is Only a Test, directed by Toma Tavares Langston. The production will ...


Gay News

THEATER Queer-themed 'Queen of the Night' to run Jan. 29-March 13 2022-01-11
- Victory Gardens Theater is slated to open its 2021-22 Mainstage Season with Queen of the Night, written by travis tate and directed by Victory Gardens Artistic Director Ken-Matt Martin. Queen of the Night features Terry Guest ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Mary Rose' running through Feb. 12 2022-01-10
- Black Button Eyes (BBE) Productions is concluding its 2021-22 season with the world-premiere musical Mary Rose, featuring book and lyrics by Producing Artistic Director Ed Rutherford, music and lyrics by Jeff Bouthiette, direction by Ed Rutherford ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Queens of Infinite Space' canceled because of COVID 2022-01-07
- With the increase in COVID-19 cases in Chicago and beyond, Proboscis Theatre has decided to cancel the performances of The Queens of Infinite Space set to run at Epiphany Center for Arts, 201 S. Ashland Ave., ...


Gay News

THEATER Steppenwolf delays '1919' premiere due to COVID 2022-01-07
- Due to the COVID-19 surge driven by the Omicron variant, and out of an abundance of caution for public health, Steppenwolf Theatre Company has postponed its Steppenwolf for Young Adults world-premiere adaptation of Eve L. Ewing's ...


Gay News

Mercury Theater Chicago announces casting and artists for 'Women of Soul' 2022-01-06
--From a press release - Chicago —Artistic Director Christopher Chase Carter, Managing Director Shane Murray-Corcoran, and Executive Producers Walter Stearns and Eugene Dizonannounce the cast and creative team for the next Mainstage production of the ...


Gay News

THEATER Trans performer Sis is doin' fine in 'Oklahoma!' 2022-01-05
- This isn't your typical grandma's Oklahoma! The very first musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein opened on Broadway in 1943 and continues to captivate audiences today. The dialogue remains the same, but updated casting choices have ...


Gay News

COVID Raven Theatre cancels production of 'Beautiful Thing' 2022-01-05
- Raven Theatre announced it will cancel its upcoming production of Beautiful Thing due to the current surge of the COVID Omicron variant. The production, written by Jonathan Harvey and directed by Mikael Burke, was slated to ...


Gay News

ATTRACTIONS 'Dr. Seuss' extended through Jan. 23 2022-01-05
- The Dr. Seuss Experience—the immersive spectacle that gives guests of all ages the opportunity to journey through nine different Dr. Seuss books—will now take place on Saturdays and Sundays through Sunday, Jan. 23. The attraction is ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Winnie the Pooh' running March 15-June 12 2022-01-05
- After its run in New York City, Jonathan Rockefeller's Disney's Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation will arrive in Chicago on March 15 and will run through June 12 at the Mercury Theatre Chicago, ...


Gay News

Theatre Above the Law to run 'Chernobyl' on Feb. 3-27 2022-01-04
- Theatre Above the Law, a member of the League of Chicago Theatres, will stage its world premiere of Ghosts of Chernobyl on Feb. 3-27 at 1439 W. Jarvis Ave. The production was originally slated to run ...


 



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


 



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.