Tag: Gary Damico

Review: How to Explain the History of Communism to Mental Patients (Trap Door Theatre)

Pavi Proczko, Ann Sonnevile and Simina Contras in How to Explain, Trapdoor          
      
   

How to Explain the History
  of
Communism to Mental Patients

Written by Matei Visniec
Translated by Jeremy Lawrence
  and Catherine Popesco
Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland (map)
thru Apr 30  |  tix: $20-$25  | more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
    

March 22, 2016 | 1 Comment More

Review: The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls (Trap Door Theatre)

Ann Sonneville stars in Trap Door Theatre's "The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls" by Meg Miroshnik, directed by Nicole Wiesner. (photo credit: Michal Janicki)         
      
The Fairytale Lives
   of Russian Girls
 

Written by Meg Miroshnik
Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland (map)
thru Dec 5  |  tix: $20-$25  | more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
    

October 20, 2015 | 0 Comments More

Review: John Doe (Trap Door Theatre)

Trap Door Theatre presents "John Doe" by Stanislaw I. Witkiewic, adapted and directed by Andrzej St. Dziuk. (photo credit: Maciej Mikulski)        
      
   
John Doe

Translated by Daniel Gerould
From play by Stanislaw I. Witkiewic
Adapted and Directed by Andrzej St. Dziuk
Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland (map)
thru Oct 25  |  tickets: $20-$25   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review 
     

October 18, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Earliest Known Photo of Men Drinking Beer (Drinking & Writing Theater)

Sean Benjamin, Carolyn Shoemaker-Benajmin and Steve Mosqueda star in Drinking & Writing Theater's "The Earliest Known Photo of Men Drinking Beer," written and directed by Sean Benjamin. (photo credit: Gosia Matuszewska)        
      
The Earliest Known Photo
   of Men Drinking Beer

Written and Directed by Sean Benjamin
at Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland (map)
thru April 12  |  tickets: $20   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review
     

March 15, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Arsonists (Trap Door Theatre)

Trap Door Theatre's "The Arsonists" by Max Frisch, directed by Victor Quezada-Pere. (photo credit: Michal Janicki)        
      
The Arsonists

Written by Max Frisch  
Translated by Alistair Beaton   
Directed by Victor Quezada-Pere
Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland (map)
thru Nov 17  |  tickets: $20-$25   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review 
     

October 16, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: Smartphones – A Pocket-Size Farce

Jodi Kingsley as Chantal and Geraldine Dulex as Amelia, in Trap Door Theatre's "Smartphones: A Pocket-Size Farce", written and directed by Emilio Williams.        
       
Smartphones:
    A Pocket-Size Farce
 

Written and Directed by Emilio Williams  
Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland (map)
thru Aug 18  |  tickets: $20   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

July 22, 2012 | 1 Comment More

Review: They Are Dying Out (Trap Door Theatre)

      
      
They Are Dying Out 

Written by Peter Handke
Translated by Michael Roloff
Directed by Max Truax  
at Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland (map)
thru March 24  |  tickets: $20-$25   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
          Read entire review
     

February 22, 2012 | 3 Comments More

REVIEW: Me Too, I Am Catherine Deneuve (Trap Door)

 

Sultry Songs, Scene-chewing Fabulousness

 

 Catherine Deneuve - Trap Door Theatre - top logo

   
Trap Door Theatre presents
    
Me Too, I Am Catherine Deveuve
   
Written and Composed by Pierre Notte
Directed by
Valery Warnotte
Translated by
David Bradby
at
Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland (map)
through November 20  |  tickets: $10-$20   |  more info

Reviewed by Paige Listerud

There’s no logic in Trap Door Theatre’s current production, unless it is the quixotic logic of the heart. In the throes of Me Too, I Am Catherine Deneuve, every character, except for the piano player (Gary Damico), gets to be a desperate diva or forlorn heroine. It’s a grand, overwrought premise that, in the hands of French playwright Pierre Notte, cunningly receives deconstruction, satire and adulation. Meanwhile, Belgian director Valery Warnotte maintains the family tension of this play, executing their enigmatic emotional arc in one cohesive, graceful sweep. It’s quite an achievement for director and cast to simply run on subtext alone. More than once I  went looking for the linchpins that hold this drama together. It’s the heart. More than most plays, no matter now melodramatic, Me Too, I Am Catherine Deneuve is about the absurd, relentless demands of the heart.

Catherine Deneuve - Trap Door Theatre 2Therefore, action is never far from a torch song. The incredibly poignant songs, also written by Notte, are what bring real emotional gravitas to the play. They prevent its self-conscious and over-the-top dialogue from degenerating into silliness. Genevieve (Holly Thomas), in rebellion against her overbearing Mother (Beata Pilch), takes on the identity of Catherine Deneuve. Assuming the identity of France’s most beautiful modern actress liberates Genevieve from all constraints—she can say what she thinks, do what she wants and upstage her diva of a Mother, which may be the real point.

The Mother, portrayed exuberantly by the juggernaut that is Beata Pilch, must deal with this latest development in family madness. Her other daughter, Marie (Sadie Rogers), engages in self-cutting and retreats to her room to sing, in gorgeous chanteuse style, all the songs her Mother used to sing before she married and ended her career. Her only other child, The Son (John Kahara), lives prodigally in Bordeaux—a fact uttered by the Mother as if it Bordeaux itself were the sixth ring of hell. Everyone in the family is mourning the absent Father. Although he never spoke and may be responsible for the death of the cat, all hope of love has gone wherever Daddy has gone.

Hidden in this play’s maze of humorous complaints against the lovelessness of life lie some of the deepest observations on the human hunger for love, recognition or empowerment. “You can’t prevent and you can’t help,” says the Mother, frustrated in her inability to bring her family back to some semblance of sanity or unity. “Why try to prove we exist when no one gives a damn?” says Genevieve to her sister, berating her for cutting herself. “I was lovely. I was meant to be loved,” says Marie at the end, anticipating her demise. Everywhere the search for love is the constant search for recognition that affirms one’s uniqueness, which affirms the necessity to go on living.

With extensive help from the French Consulate in Chicago, Trap Door Theatre has brought Pierre Notte’s contemporary avant-garde play to Chicago. Speaking engagements with the playwright and director on contemporary French drama have been scheduled throughout this weekend, some co-coordinated with the University of Chicago. We’re indebted to the French Consulate and Trap Door for introducing far-flung works like these to Chicago. Me Too, I Am Catherine Denueve is a fabulous, irreverent breath of fresh air.

   
   
Rating: ★★★½
   

 

Catherine Deneuve - Trap Door Theatre 2 Catherine Deneuve - Trap Door Theatre - top logo Catherine Deneuve - Trap Door Theatre - top logo Catherine Deneuve - Trap Door Theatre 2  

 

Monday, October 18th, 3:30pm:

Politics & Esthetics of French Theater

French Theater Week will culminate with a lively and informative round-table discussion with Gérald Garutti (ENSATT, Sciences Po), Pierre Notte (Théâtre du Rond-Point), Valéry Warnotte (L’Intervention), Beata Pilch (Trap Door Theatre) moderated by John Ireland (UIC). Wine and cheese reception to follow.

More info: http://fcc.uchicago.edu/ 

Other France Chicago Center events:

          
          
October 17, 2010 | 0 Comments More