Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-01-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas (sic)
by Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times
2018-06-06

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: David Kersnar & Althos Low

At: Lookingglass Theatre at Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. Tickets: 312-337-0665; LookingglassTheatre.org; $45-$80. Run through: Aug. 19

Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas ( plural ), first published in 1869-70, featured meticulous scientific research for its time and a rip-snorting story with secretive Capt. Nemo as the antagonist. So vivid was Nemo—the name ( with Latin/Greek roots ) didn't exist until Verne employed it—that he quickly eclipsed the intended hero and narrator of the tale, French marine biologist Prof. Pierre Aronnax.

When Nemo next appeared in Verne's 1874 follow-up, Mysterious Island, he was the central figure narrating his detailed backstory which was almost entirely missing in 20,000 Leagues. Across nearly two dozen screen adaptations ( the first a 1916 silent film ), the obviously indelible Nemo has been played by Lionel Barrymore, James Mason, Herbert Lom, Michael Caine, Omar Sharif, Patrick Stewart, Ben Cross and Jose Ferrer, among others.

For this vigorous new production, adapters David Kersnar ( also the director ) and Althos Low combine Mysterious Island and ( mostly ) 20,000 Leagues to create a complete character arc for Nemo ( intense, thoughtful Kareem Bandealy ), revealed in Mysterious Island to be of South Asian royal heritage. The major alteration is to recast Pierre Aronnax as female Prof. Morgan Aronnax ( Kasey Foster ), and ditto her assistant, Conseil ( Lanise Antoine Shelley ). In the mold of tomb-raider Lara Croft, they are fighting scientists required to use knives and fists. The sex change is handled adroitly in the new/altered text but doesn't impact the plot or final outcome at all, so the sole motive is the opportunity to make contemporary statements about mistaken perceptions ( limitations ) of women in male-dominant cultures. It may not be a distraction but it provides limited value.

This adaptation squarely is about Nemo, who is far more conflicted, outraged and complex than in other portrayals. Ideas of justice, responsibility and morality are raised frequently, along with social roles one may be required to play. Ace Canadian harpooner Ned Lane ( Walter Briggs )—a captive of Nemo's along with Aronnax and Conseil—is a rascal and rule-breaker, so it's interesting to weigh his opposition to rule-breaker Nemo. Is Nemo an archetypal supervillain who wishes to punish the world, or an avatar of a new world order? You decide.

Lookingglass' 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas offers a varied and appealing physical production involving wonderful puppets of ships and sea creatures, agile physical work by the company, some circus skills, exotic costuming, astute lighting and multi-layer scenic design. Nemo's ship, The Nautilus, is not conveyed with specific exterior or interior details so one shouldn't anticipate the literalness of the still-popular 1954 Disney film. Likewise, the attack of the giant squid ( squids in the original ) is a game-changer in the film but not in this production ( nor the novel ), although the puppet technology in both is about equal!


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

Digital lottery, rush tickets for 'Fiddler' 2019-02-02 - Broadway In Chicago announced that there will be a digital lottery and rush tickets for the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof, ...


Gay News

Firebrand Theatre Announces Casting for Chicago Premiere of QUEEN OF THE MIST 2019-01-21 - CHICAGO ( January 18, 2019 ) — Firebrand Theatre is pleased to announce full casting for its Chicago premiere of QUEEN OF THE ...


Gay News

New authors take on hard-hitting subjects at Playwrights Festival 2019-01-16 - With this year's crop of student one-acts, Pegasus Theatre Chicago is tackling homophobia, gentrification and other urban ordinariness that carries a political charge ...


Gay News

Fillet of Solo Storytelling Fest, Archy Jamjun, A Boy & A Diva Jan. 18, 25 2019-01-16 - Two-time The Moth GrandSLAM winner Archy Jamjun premieres his debut one man show, A Boy & A Diva, Jan. 18 and 25, as ...


Gay News

'Hedwig' tour in Chicago in 2019 2019-01-16 - John Cameron Mitchell—the Tony-winning, Golden Globe-nominated co-creator of Hedwig & the Angry Inch—will bring his rock spectacle to the United States for the ...


Gay News

Groundbreaking 'I AM... Fest' April 27-29 2019-01-16 - Black Lives, Black Words International Project will launch the I AM… Fest, in partnership with Goodman Theatre. This first-of-its-kind international festival will take ...


Gay News

Johnson/Nash book release party Jan. 31 2019-01-16 - A joint book release celebrating E. Patrick Johnson's Black. Queer. Southern. Women: An Oral History and Jennifer Nash's Black Feminism Reimagined: After Intersectionality ...


Gay News

OUT on Stage' Jan. 17 on Dekkoo 2019-01-16 - OUT on Stage: The Series will debut Thursday, Jan. 17, on LGBT subscription-based streaming network Dekkoo. Zach Noe Towers hosts the show, which ...


Gay News

18th Annual Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival line-up named 2019-01-16 - SketchFest Executive Producer Jill Valentine announced the official line-up for the 18th Annual Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival, taking place through Jan. 20 at ...


Gay News

'Nina Simone' through March 2 2019-01-16 - Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, continues its 2018-19 season with Nina Simone: ...


 



Copyright © 2019 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


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.