Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Archives OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor


  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW We're Gonna Die
by Mary Shen Barnidge
2020-09-19

This article shared 1381 times since Sat Sep 19, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Young Jean Lee

At: Theatre Y, streaming online at Theatre-Y.com . Ticketsfree. Runs through: Oct. 4

"To be, or not to be" may have once been a dilemma to beguile wealthy Danish princes, but the riddle baffling us today is why we continue to endure so many terrible things—pain, sorrow, injury, abandonment, imminent extinction. What can we do to halt these "thousand naturalshocks that flesh is heir to" and what solace can we offer to those undergoing them?

In 2011, playwright Young Jean Lee mused on this enigma in a series of monologues with music that recounted moments in her earlier life when she was spurred to confront the perplexities of our inexorable journey to the grave: eavesdropping on an uncle beset by self-loathing, a sister obsessed with lurid murders, a cohabitant lover whose merciful efforts to banish evidence of his previous occupancy prove futile, a mother's lullaby promising, "you will sleep, by and by" and, finally, the story of her father's death after an excruciation steeped in suspense, suffering and unimaginably bitter irony.

You can present this material as a straightforward spoken-word solo performance ( its premiere featured Lee herself gently assuring her audience, "I won't try to make you smile" ) or you can serve it up as a screw-you-reaperboy rock concert like the 2017 Haven Theatre production did. A small screen viewed in solitary seclusion, however, invokes an intimacy beyond any achieved in a communal setting—circumstances making for Theatre Y's visual concept composed almost entirely of enigmatic objects viewed in extreme close-up, with only a few brief glimpses of live human beings.

Said objects encompass such personal treasures as black-and-white snapshot photographs, postcard-sized artwork, a Nikon-style camera in a leather case, and a Peter Max-style animated cartoon. A recurring motif is suggested in a pair of lighted Christmas-Caroler candles whose slow meltdown is echoed in a time-lapse filmed sequence of a gradually thawing ice-cream sundae and in portraits of our narrator with her face masked under thick makeup that cannot stop the flow of her tears.

Accompanying this gallery of images is an audio montage in which traces of chamber orchestra, music-box and rewinding reel-to-reel and cassette recorders can be detected. Oh, and did I mention that all this takes only a little more than an hour?

Lee is not content to leave us floundering in melancholy, though, instead proposing death—not as a cataclysmic tragedy conceived to punish each of us individually, but as the inevitable conclusion to the life that we share with everything in the universe. Whether that brings you comfort or not, the multisensory collage assembled for this streaming production by an ensemble of talented artists—most notably, actor Emily Bragg as our questioning pilgrim, along with cinematographer Justin Jones and film editor Kevin Hurley—delivers a mesmerizing contemplation on the great mystery even science has never been able to solve.


This article shared 1381 times since Sat Sep 19, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Billy Masters 2020-11-30
- "Will you issue pardons before leaving office? Will you be issuing a pardon for yourself?"—A reporter asked El Presidente this question after the traditional pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkeys. And by turkey, we don't mean anyone ...


Gay News

'The Prom' out Dec. 11 on Netflix 2020-11-27
- The Prom—a musical-comedy film directed by Ryan Murphy and adapted by Chad Beguelin and Bob Martin (from their and Matthew Sklar's 2018 Broadway musical of the same name)—will be out on Netflix on Dec. 11. The ...


Gay News

THEATER Harry Lennix to direct Dec. 13 reading of 'Mercy' 2020-11-20
- Northlight Theatre will present an Interplay New Play Development Program reading of Mercy, written by Felicia Oduh and directed by Harry Lennix (known for his acting roles on TV shows such as The Blacklist and Billions ...


Gay News

Play development series seeks new plays authored by artists of color 2020-11-19
--From a press release - (Chicago, IL) Calling all bold, imaginative new plays authored by artists of color for Future Labs—Goodman Theatre's newest artistic program to develop works authored and directed by Black, Indigenous, Latinx, AAPI and other artists of co ...


Gay News

About Face Theatre starts 25th season with Kickback online short play fest 2020-11-18
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Nov 9, 2020) — About Face Theatre kicks off its landmark 25th season with KICKBACK, an online festival of newly commissioned short plays and performances by Black LGBTQ+ artists, inspired by the Rebuild Foundation's collections ...


Gay News

THEATER Lookingglass to present 'Her Honor Jane Byrne' on Nov. 26, 28 2020-11-17
- Lookingglass Theatre Company, in collaboration with WBEZ 91.5 Chicago, will present a world-premiere audio play of Her Honor Jane Byrne, written and directed by Ensemble Member and Mellon Playwright in Residence J. Nicole Brooks. Her Honor ...


Gay News

MUSICALS 1997 version of Anyone Can Whistle out Dec. 4 2020-11-17
- On Sunday, Dec. 4, Jay Records will release a 1997 recording of the musical Anyone Can Whistle, which originally had music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim as well as a book by Arthur Laurents. The production ...


Gay News

Hell in a Handbag to present Rip Nelson Holiday Quarantine Special 2020-11-13
- CHICAGO (November 12, 2020) — Hell in a Handbag Productions celebrates the holidays with the return of America's favorite funnyman, Rip Nelson (Ed Jones*), in the star-studded world premiere of ...


Gay News

THEATER Pride Arts artistic director resigns; PFP keeps Zak 2020-11-12
- Two controversial developments have occurred at Pride Arts (in which Pride Films & Plays, PFP, is the main tenant). According to a letter from PrideArts President Cheri Tatar that Windy City Times obtained, PFP Artistic Director ...


Gay News

THEATER Andre De Shields to help celebrate youth Dec. 9 2020-11-11
- Andre De Shields—a Grammy-, Emmy- and Tony-winning actor, director and educator, and the 2019 "Triple Crown" winner for his portrayal of Hermes in Hadestown—will be the keynote speaker of the Victory Gardens Theater event "Voices of ...


Gay News

Theater community to offer online plays, musicals, dance, comedy for holidays 2020-11-10
--From a press release - Chicago, IL (November 10, 2020)— The Chicago theater community will produce a wide variety of online festive plays, musicals, dance and comedy offerings this Holiday season. Theatre venues in Chicago and across the world remain closed ...


Gay News

A Red Orchid Theatre appoints Travis Knight, Sadieh Rifai to new positions 2020-11-10
--From a press release - CHICAGO, IL—A Red Orchid Theatre announces the appointments of Ensemble Member Travis Knight as Associate Artistic Director and Ensemble Member Sadieh Rifai as Artistic Development Coordinator. Ensemble member Shade Murray ...


Gay News

Theater excellence honored with 52nd annual Equity Awards 2020-11-10
--From a press release - Nov. 9, 2020 — CHICAGO — In its 52nd annual celebration of theater excellence, the Jeff Awards has recognized 39 recipients for the 2020 awards, selected from among 142 theater artist nominees across 30 artistic and ...


Gay News

The African American Arts Alliance announces 2020 Black Excellence Awards 2020-11-05
--From a press release - Chicago, IL—The African American Arts Alliance (AAAA) will host the 20th annual Black Excellence Awards, an evening celebrating Black artists, Black voices, and Black stories across artistic disciplines, on November 10, 2020 at 7pm. The 2020 ...


Gay News

OUTspoken Storytelling to host tales from LGBTQ perspectives Nov. 10 2020-11-01
--From a press release - Another exciting OUTspoken Storytelling Night will offer the perspective of four Chicagoans telling life's stories from their LGBTQ+ viewpoint or that of their close friends and relatives, Tuesday, Nov. 10, starting at 7 p.m. on Zoom. ...


 



Copyright © 2020 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


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Archives OUT! Guide    Marriage


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.