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 2022-12-07
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

There Is a Happiness That Morning Is
THEATER REVIEW
by Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times
2011-04-27

This article shared 4010 times since Wed Apr 27, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Mickle Maher. At: Theater Oobleck, Storefront Theater, 66 E. Randolph. Tickets: 312-742-8497; www.dcatheater.org; pay-what-you-can ($15 suggested). Runs through: May 22

Once more Theater Oobleck and playwright Mickle Maher have created a singular theater piece that's funny, witty, literate and profound. Inspired by mystical late-18th-century poet and artist William Blake, Maher has penned a work that explains poetry, analyzes particular poems of Blake's and also employs the poems as metaphors for the story of the play itself, which explores the nature of love and passion. Oh, did I mention that it's written in rhymed verse in homage to Blake?

The 90-minute play evolves from two short Blake poems, "Infant Joy" from Songs of Innocence and "The Sick Rose" from Songs of Experience. College professors Bernard and Ellen dissect the poems, speaking in poetic cadences brilliantly and humorously disguised as everyday speech. They also are lovers of 15 years who set their small college atwitter when they have sex outdoors on campus and are observed by the college president. The live sex act echoes recent real events at Northwestern University. If that's not intentional, then art indeed reflects life in sometimes-uncanny ways.

The most obvious interpretation of the play is that Bernard and "Infant Joy" represents the Dionysian impulse in humanity, while more-buttoned-up Ellen and "The Sick Rose" stand for the Apollonian impulse. A third character, "the invisible worm" of Blake's poem that is destroying the rose from within, is the college president. But his part in the story—as in the poem—is not purposely destructive, for Blake calls it "his dark secret love." In Maher's extension of the poetic idea, the worm would rather live forever within the rose than destroy it. The president causes Bernard and especially Ellen to reconsider the nature of love.

Writing about There Is a Happiness That Morning Is makes it sound rather heavy and literary, but it never loses its comic edge or showmanship, culminating in an unexpected and gasp-inducing stage fight that's one of the best I've seen, as one actor whips another around like a rag doll.

The finesse of the show is surprising when one considers that Theater Oobleck works without a director, the company collectively staging each piece. Of course, having only three characters and simple design elements helps some but doesn't make a slam-dunk of this challenging piece. It's the actors who make it a slam-dunk. Oobleck veteran Colm O'Reilly is perfectly rumpled as Bernard, a man far more eager and passionate than smart. Diana Slickman as Ellen provides rueful and reserved counterpoint as the doubter of the couple. Kirk Anderson supplies a final, unexpected burst of energy as the college chief and hypotenuse of the triangle.

There Is a Happiness That Morning Is confirms again Theater Oobleck's reputation as one of the most creative and original troupes in town.


This article shared 4010 times since Wed Apr 27, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Chicago theater charges on through the cold months 2023-01-31
- The ongoing 2022-2023 theater season—roughly September to June—will be the first complete production season in Chicago in three years. A few troupes cautiously returned to live performances late last spring, but most companies waited until the ...


Gay News

Billy Porter discusses his fashion choices, personal ambitions 2023-01-30
- Billy Porter—the Tony, Emmy and Grammy winner—needs no introduction—especially to the many fans of his character Pray Tell on Ryan Murphy's hit TV series Pose. Coming up exclusively in theaters Feb. 3, Porter will star as ...


Gay News

Des Plaines Theater cancels anti-LGBTQ hate group event after outcry from citizens 2023-01-20
- DuPage County-based Awake Illinois was set to hold an event called "Out of the Echo Chamber: Coalition for Kids" at the city-owned, but not city-operated, Des Plaines Theatre Wednesday, Feb. 8. This event has now been ...


Gay News

Theater Review: tick, tick...BOOM! 2023-01-19
- One of the wonders of live theater is that old works can be revived and reinterpreted to respond to changes in culture and society. Often a new directorial approach can make tried-and-true material feel fresh and ...


Gay News

Theater Review: Princess Ivona is a dark but comic portrait of power 2023-01-19
- Playwright: Witold Gombrowicz. At: Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland St. Tickets: 773-384-0494 or www.trapdoortheatre.com; $25 (two-for-one admission Thursdays) Runs through Feb. 18 Trap Door Theatre is now tackling the ...


Gay News

Jordan Vasquez treats Chicago to Fosse's Chicago 2023-01-12
- Actor and openly gay performer Jordan Vasquez, an Illinois native now living in New York City, is giving Chicago audiences "the old razzle dazzle" in the fabulous musical Chicago. This dynamically talented performer brings with him ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Diversity report, Dave Bautista, Leslie Jordan, greatest singers 2023-01-08
- The USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative's latest "Inclusion in the Director's Chair" report analyzes the gender and race/ethnicity of the directors behind last year's 100 highest-grossing movies in the country, while the San Diego State Center ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Best in theater, TV, film and music; Obama's favorites; 'Glass Onion' 2022-12-31
- Deadline's Broadway critic revealed his picks for the best of 2022. Leopoldstadt topped his list, but other productions included Kimberly Akimbo, Some Like It Hot, Into the Woods, Hangmen, Ain't No Mo', A Strange Loop, Topdog/Underdog, ...


Gay News

PrideArts, Chicago drag artists co-produce story of a drag family's tribulations 2022-12-22
-- From a press release - CHICAGO — PrideArts will celebrate the arrival of the year 2023 by teaming up with the Chicago drag performers Tirrany Reigns and Ramona Mirage to stage Reigns' original Queer Family Dramedy, set just after New Year's ...


Gay News

Oak Park Festival Theatre makes history with new artistic director 2022-12-20
- The Oak Park Festival Theatre (OPFT)—the oldest professional classical theater in the Midwest—announced that Peter G. Andersen will be joining the company as its new artistic director in January 2023. It is the first time that a person ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Best and worst films, Broadway, Adam Lambert, 'Proud Family,' women's hockey 2022-12-18
- IndieWire revealed its list of the best LGBTQ+ films and TV series of 2022. Just some of the selections included Benediction, Bros, Do Revenge, Fire Island, Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Inspection, Los Espookys, P-Valley, ...


Gay News

Life is a Cabaret for James Harkness these days 2022-12-14
- Out performer James Harkness is one of the many performers in Cabaret ZaZou's Luminaire, the latest project from the creative team behind the successful show Teatro ZinZanni. Currently in an open run since Sept. 7, 2022, ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Jerrod Carmichael, 'Heartstopper,' Lena Waithe, Gyllenhaal, Cher 2022-12-11
- Out comedian Jerrod Carmichael will host the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards, Deadline reported. After a yearlong hiatus, the three-hour telecast will air on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023 from The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills on NBC and ...


Gay News

Theater Review: Mosque4Mosque 2022-12-09
- Author: Omer Abbas Salem. At: About Face Theatre at The Den Tickets: www.thedentheatre.com; $7.50-$41.25. Runs through: Dec. 17 Sara and her children are Syrian immigrants with a nice suburban house. Sara (Rula Gardenier) is an accountant, ...


Gay News

Michael Horvich: A caregiver remembers his talented husband 2022-12-07
- Michael Horvich has had many roles in his lifetime, among them teacher, photographer and author. However, one of his most important was being caregiver to Gregory Maire—Horvich's husband of 41 years, who died in 2015. Maire ...


 




Copyright © 2023 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


 



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.