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 2018-05-16
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 Suddenly Last Summer
by Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times
2018-05-13

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Tennessee Williams

At: Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark Street. Tickets: 773-338-2177; RavenTheatre.com; $46. Runs through June 17

New Orleans is a drinking town, but in Suddenly Last Summer old Violet Venable has one lone daiquiri while everyone else stays dry. This play demonstrates that terrible things happen when you don't drink in the Big Easy. Or not.

This taut psychological thriller runs just 90 minutes but nonetheless it's as perversely poetic as any of Williams' longer works. With its repeated rhythms, words and phrases, its fraught situation and rich language—redolent with images of voracious plants, birds and people feeding upon each other in what Sebastian Venable views as God's savage face—Suddenly Last Summer is all about the acting. Capable director Jason Gerace tampers slightly with the script and action, but nonetheless delivers nuanced and assured performances throughout ( even understudy Song Marshall as the housemaid ).

It's set in the 1930s Garden District mansion of patrician Mrs. Venable ( Mary K. Nigohosian ), who holds all the cards—money, connections, dominance over poor relations—while her traumatized niece, Catherine Holly ( Grayson Heyl ), holds none ... except perhaps the horrific truth, for which Mrs. Venable is willing to lobotomize Catherine.

Their disagreement concerns Mrs. Venable's too-adored son, Sebastian, a 40-ish dilettante poet who died in Spain while traveling with Catherine. A heart attack? Or was Sebastian attacked and mutilated by adolescent boys, some of whom he'd paid for sex? Mrs. Venable contends Sebastian was ever-chaste and celibate, so she intends to suppress Catherine's account and fevered vision that the boys "devoured" him.

The play features two extended near-monologs in which Violet and Catherine deliver contrasting portraits of who-and-what Sebastian was. The facilitator is "Dr. Sugar," a nickname rendering of his Polish name, Cukrowicz ( an affable Wardell Julius Clark ), a neurosurgeon pioneering then-new lobotomies. Violet promises major financial support if he neutralizes Catherine, but Dr. Sugar remains impartial.

Nigohosian, Heyl and Clark play their roles with authority and humanity, never letting the language stiffen or trick them into poetic recitation. Nigohosian is particularly adept at avoiding vocal patterns or overplaying peremptory Violet Venable. It's the high level of acting we expect in the best off-Loop productions.

Joanna Iwanicka's mist-shrouded exotic garden scenic design and Claire Chrzan's muted but colorful lighting are most effective, and I really loved Brittany Dee Bodley's costumes, especially the matching off-white outfits for Violet and Dr. Sugar, subtly edged with tan trim.

I'm not among those who think Suddenly Last Summer expresses Williams' gay self-loathing. Gay characters don't fare well in most Williams plays and queerness is addressed only indirectly, but few of his hetero characters do much better! Williams never chooses between gay and straight, but between strong and weak. His gay characters mostly are weak and hidden—but such were times until late in his life.


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

LGBTQ comedy company GayCo Productions to present P.ride C.omedy P.arty 2018-05-20 - CHICAGO—- Wanna party in the Chicago comedy scene like it's 1999? Tired of underage twinks asking for cigarettes when all you want is ...


Gay News

Broken Nose will receive award May 21 2018-05-20 - The League of Chicago Theatres announced Broken Nose Theatre as the recipient of the 2018 Broadway in Chicago Emerging Theatre Award. The ...


Gay News

National tour of Broadway production of Falsettos opens here May 28 2018-05-20 - CHICAGO ( May 14, 2018 ) — Broadway In Chicago is thrilled to announce the 2019 National Tour of the Lincoln Center Theater ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Days Are Shorter 2018-05-16 - Playwright: Corinne J. Kawecki At: Pride Films and Plays at the Pride Arts Buena, 4147 N. Broadway. Tickets: $25; PrideFilmsAndPlays.com; 773-857-0222. Runs through: ...


Gay News

SUMMER THEATER SPECIAL Summer promises: Theater in and around the city 2018-05-16 - One might not believe it from the climate-change weather people are getting now, but summer is on its way and, with it, outdoor ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW ThroatPunch 2018-05-16 - Playwright: Sharon Krome At: Chicago Mosaic School, 1101 W. Granville Ave. Tickets: NothingWithoutACompany.org; $10-$20; free on select days. Runs through: June 3 ...


Gay News

Critics'Picks 2018-05-16 - Buddy, American Blues Theater at Stage 773, through May 26. Far more concert than story, the short, mostly sweet life of Buddy Holly ...


Gay News

Theater Spotlight on Don Quixote 2018-05-16 - Think Don Quixote, and most invariably think one of a ziggitygillion crooners going for the money notes in "The Impossible Dream." If you ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Flies! The Musical! 2018-05-16 - Playwright: Cindy O'Connor ( music ), Larry Todd Cousineau ( book and lyrics ) At: Pride Films and Plays at The Broadway, Pride ...


Gay News

Second City to host Pride sketch show 2018-05-16 - The Second City has announced a June run for "The Second City's Let's Make It Perfectly Queer: A Salute to Pride," a sketch ...


 



Copyright © 2018 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


 



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 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.