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: The Dorothy Project
by Rick Reed
2003-06-18

This article shared 3051 times since Wed Jun 18, 2003
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Beau O'Reilly

At: Curious Theatre Branch

Phone: (773) 274-6660; $10

Runs through: July 14

In the program notes for The Dorothy Project, Beau O'Reilly writes: 'I … wanted to poke some cheerful fun at ourselves and our peers. Along the way, the characters took over the story, and something more that just fun pokage happened.' More's the pity. Characters can be as unruly and as undisciplined as children and, while the experience of having them 'take over' a writer's work isn't as uncommon or even as psychotic as it might sound to those who have never put pen to paper in an attempt to create a fictitious universe, characters sometimes need a firm hand in order for them to develop properly. Clearly, Beau O'Reilly's love for his characters comes through: their fringe theater, performance art edginess shines through with affectionate familiarity. Like a doting parent, though, perhaps O'Reilly's fondness for his creative offspring has clouded his vision and discipline here because The Dorothy Project is an aimless work, unanchored, and in need of a firm swat on the butt.

I have long admired the edgy, innovative, and off-the-wall output of O'Reilly and others at Curious Theatre Branch. No matter where their performances have been set up, there's always an admirable element of risk, and ample creative fuel that make their simply produced, but often elaborately witty and creative vision shine.

The Dorothy Project is a sort of play within a play, as it seeks to chronicle the backstage intrigue, the competitiveness, and the joy of theatrical creation. The Dorothy Project, as the play's principal conceit, concerns itself with a group of women engaged in putting on an avant-garde, all-female theater festival. The project is the brainchild of a pair of lovable lesbians who have more money than sense and more of an infatuation with the art (and artists) than any real talent or taste. Miss Nadine (Julie Caffey, in one of the evening's funnier turns) and Maggie (Cecilie O'Reilly) are the couple who act as benefactors for the annual production and a parade of eccentric types comes under their aegis. There's a too-eager-to-please director, Heather (Abby Cucci) who prefers the title curator, an irritating 'performance artist' (Kat McJimsey), who swings from a trapeze and talks in an unaccountable growl most of the time, a playwright, Winnie (Teresa Weed) who forgets that theater is a collaborative effort, and assorted others who come together to play out O'Reilly's story. The problem with The Dorothy Project is that the story falters, and ends up going nowhere. By the close of the play, the story has seemed to have done a lot of meandering, but never arrived at any destination.

There's good work here. The ensemble is mostly capable, spirited, and committed. Curious Theatre Branch makes good use of its new, and larger, home in Rogers Park. The three-pronged direction (by O'Reilly, Stefan Brun, and Heidi Broadhead) is sharp and on target. Now, if the story could just be whipped into better form. Forget the inside jokes. The play needs a little distance and objectivity to get off the ground and truly be funny, which it aspires to do. Near the play's end, creative 'genius' Mary Zimmerman makes a fictitious appearance and is royally skewered. The Dorothy Project needs that kind of edge. It's there … O'Reilly just needs to dig deeper to find it.


This article shared 3051 times since Wed Jun 18, 2003
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

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 ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog' running through Nov. 6 2021-10-12
- Black Button Eyes Productions is welcoming back live audiences with the popular internet musical Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog—an authorized fan production to benefit the Chicago charity Season of Concern—playing through ...


Gay News

THEATER 'I'm Not A Comedian… I'm Lenny Bruce' returns Nov. 5 2021-10-08
- Theatre 68 and the Venus Cabaret Theater, 3745 N. Southport Ave., announced the return of the critically acclaimed production, I'm Not A Comedian… I'm Lenny Bruce, to Chicago beginning Friday, Nov. 5. Ronnie Marmo wrote and ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Songs for Nobodies 2021-10-07
- Title: Songs for Nobodies. Playwright: Joanna Murray-Smith At: Northlight Theatre at the North Shore Center for the Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd. Tickets: $30-$89. Runs through: Sunday, Oct. 31 You won't find their names in the history ...


Gay News

Chicago Inclusion Project offers anti-racism workshops for arts organizations 2021-10-05
--From a press release - Chicago, IL—The staff of The Chicago Inclusion Project is excited to launch a new workshop and continuum developed by staff members Jessica Vann and Arti Ishak. The workshop, entitled "Being Anti-Racist: An Active Action," is designed ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW: American Mariachi 2021-10-02
- Title: American Mariachi. Playwright: Jose Cruz Gonzalez At: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. Tickets: $25-$98; GoodmanTheatre.org. Runs through: Oct. 24 From the first moment, when a shrill "grito" proclaims the commencement of a Mariachi bolero, ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Thirteen Days 2021-09-29
- Thirteen Days. adapted by Brian Pastor from the book by Robert F. Kennedy At: City Lit Theatre at Edgewater Presbyterian Church, 1030 West Bryn Mawr Ave., Tickets: $27-$32. Runs through: Oct. 24 Palace Intrigue has been ...


Gay News

THEATER 'The Last Pair of Earlies' running Oct. 27-Dec. 12 at Raven 2021-09-28
- Raven Theatre, Chicago's newest Equity-affiliated theatre, is welcoming back audiences this fall with the world premiere of Joshua Allen's The Last Pair of Earlies, directed by Wardell Julius Clark. This new drama—which follows the hardships ...


Gay News

Next OUTspoken 'Storytelling Night' Oct. 5 2021-09-27
--From a press release - Six Chicagoans will tell compelling stories with a LGBTQ+ perspective when another OUTspoken "Storytelling Night" takes place Tuesday, Oct. 5, starting at 7 p.m., at Sidetrack Bar, 3349 N. Halsted St. All attendees must be masked ...


 



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


 

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.