Tag: Wendye Clarendon

Review: Muthaland (16th Street Theater)

Minita Gandhi stars in Muthaland, 16th Street Theater Berwyn 5            
      

  

Muthaland

Written by Minita Gandhi
16th Street Theater, 6420 W. 16th St. (map)
thru Oct 7  |  tix: $18-$22  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
     

September 17, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: Broken Fences (16th Street Theater)

Scott Allen Luke and Kirsten D'Aurelio in "Broken Fences" by Steven Simoncic, directed by Ann Filmer and Ilesa Duncan. (photo credit: Anthony Aicardi)        
       
Broken Fences 

Written by Steven Simoncic  
Co-Directed by Ann Filmer and Ilesa Duncan
at 16th Street Theater, Berwyn (map)
thru Date  |  tickets: $18   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review
     

September 28, 2013 | 1 Comment More

Review: The Electric Baby (Rivendell Theatre)

Lionel Gentle and Amanda Powell star in Rivendell Theatre's "The Electric Baby" by Stefanie Zadravec, directed by Tara Mallen. (photo credit: Joe Mazza)        
       
The Electric Baby 

Written by Stefanie Zadravec  
Directed by Tara Mallen
at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge (map)
thru June 22  |  tickets: $30   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

May 22, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: A Steady Rain (Chicago Commercial Collective)

Peter DeFaria as Joey and Randy Steinmeyer as Denny in Chicago Commercial Collective's "A Steady Rain" by Keith Huff, directed by Russ Tutterow. (photo credit: Jeff Pines)        
       
A Steady Rain 

Written by Keith Huff
Directed by Russ Tutterow 
at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago (map)
thru Sept 2  |  tickets: $40   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

July 11, 2012 | 1 Comment More

REVIEW: The Four of Us (Theater Wit)

   
  

Rare find: a sophisticated comedy for bros!

  
  

(from left) Usman Ally, Collin Geraghty, Usman Ally and Collin Geraghty in the Midwest premiere of The Four of Us

   
Theater Wit presents
  
The Four of Us
   
Written by Itamar Moses
Directed by Jeremy Wechsler
at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont (map)
Extended thru Dec 18  |  tickets: $30   |  more info

Review by Paige Listerud

Who among your friends do you measure yourself against? Theater Wit’s critically acclaimed production, The Four of Us, by award-winning playwright Itamar Moses, knowingly and humorously examines the shifting fortunes and friendship between two writers in search of artistic and worldly success–a quixotic and mercurial adventure if ever there was. Who could ever be prepared for the toll success may take when one writer receives unforeseen recognition in the cultural economy while the other flounders in the sea of struggling-to-make-it? For those unfamiliar with the Usman Ally and Collin Geraghty in The Four of Us by Itamar Mosesconcept of writer’s envy, Kathryn Chetkovich’s classic essay, which originally appeared in the magazine “Granta”, remains excellent background material for this drama.

David (Usman Ally), a struggling playwright, takes his old buddy, Benjamin (Collin Geraghty), out to lunch to celebrate the upcoming publication of Benjamin’s very first novel. It’s all part of the pact that they had made back in college – whoever makes it first, whether first novel or first play, has to buy the other lunch at a restaurant of their choice. But Benjamin’s novel getting published is not simply one man’s goal achieved—it’s success at a spectacularly obscene level. Huge bid by a major publisher, sold movie rights, a famous Hollywood actor looking to direct it—all of which, to David’s thunderstruck reaction, his long-time pal Benjamin writes off as nothing. Is it artistic integrity on Benjamin’s part or a victory won too easily to appreciate? Is his diffidence a slight indication of low self-esteem or another way to garner David’s attention for his achievement? Whatever the motive, David gets bitten by the envy bug but still buys Benjamin’s lunch.

Jeremy Wechsler’s direction keeps the witty back-and-forth between Ally and Geraghty crisp and taut. In fact, Moses script is reminiscent of Mamet in that each beat and inflection between actors requires rapid-fire interaction and two complementary mindsets practically joined at the third eye. David’s relationship with Benjamin may be a little too close for comfort, since Benjamin’s pronouncements on literature, women, relationships and life perpetually override David’s own judgment and lived experience. The playwright has a keen eye for the worshipful man-crush, supported by underlying structures of insecurity and crippling self-doubt. The Four of Us demonstrates intense emotional maturity about the immature reasons guys subtly compete with each other and compare the progress of their lives with the friends they are closest to.

 

(from left) Usman Ally plays David and Collin Geraghty portrays Benjamin in the Midwest premiere of The Four of Us, Collin Geraghty and Usman Ally in Theater Wit's The Four of Us

The play also jumps about between the current, alternating trials and triumphs of the characters and their college days—a summer in Prague, sharing a joint in their dorm room the year before and, for the grand finale, the first time they met as counselors in summer band camp. If the production has a weakness, it’s in the portrayal of David and Benjamin in their more youthful and idealistic years. Ally and Geraghty spar brilliantly with each other, but fail to bring the nuanced edge of jejune enthusiasm for life ahead of them that is the hallmark of college days. Given that this ultra-talky play constructs the evolution each goes through about the other, the production needs to demonstrate greater contrast between past and present. Without that, David and Benjamin’s relationship only comes across as one big gabfest with slightly distinct variations.

Playful scene changes and Joseph Fosco’s smart sound design keeps the energy lively from scene to scene. The Four of Us is fast-paced and cunning. Whether he digs theater or not, catch your best bud and drag him to see it. This is one of the most sophisticated comedies for the bros that I’ve seen in while. One can only hope that it will get made into a movie to wow the audiences at Sundance or Telluride.

 
   
Rating: ★★★½   
   
  

The Four Of Us - Theater Wit - Collin Geraghty and Usman Ally

     
itama moses

Playwright Itamar Moses

Production Personnel

Playwright: Itamar Moses
Director: Jeremy Wechsler 
Cast: Usman Ally, Collin Geraghty
Light Design:  Scott Pillsbury
Sound Design: Joseph Fosco 
Set Design: Roger Wykes
Costumes: Christine Pascual
Stage Manager: Wendye Clarendon

All production photos by Johnny Knight

      
      
November 26, 2010 | 0 Comments More

Chicago Dramatists to present play at Millennium Park


 

Aiming for Sainthood
  a new solo play for hearing and deaf audiences
  Written/Performed by resident playwright Arlene Malinowski
Directed by Associate Artistic Director Richard Perez
  ASL Interpretation by Michael Albert, scenic design by Robert Groth & Jenniffer Thusing, light design by Diane Fairchild, sound design by Christiopher Kriz, stage managed by Wendye Clarendon

 

Performance Dates: March 25, 26 & 27, all at 7:30pm

Location: Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park

Tickets: all tickets are $10  (more info | buy tickets)

 

aiming-for-sainthood When her Deaf mother gets cancer, a middle-aged daughter moves back into her childhood room with two questions:

“Where is God?” and “Who took my Springsteen poster?”
The hearing daughter of devout Deaf parents must navigate through the cross-cultural maze of the medical world, the Deaf world, and the world beyond. This story is about parents and children, Deaf and hearing, love and forgiveness, faith and tolerance, and finding yourself amid the clash of cultures we call America.
Through this autobiographical, one-woman play, playwright Arlene Malinowski shares her heritage. It is told through both sign language and voice, using both Deaf and hearing storytelling techniques. It challenges audiences to share a world beyond their experiences: the culture of Deafness – a community of people defined not by their disability but by their shared language, perspective and values – a community which believes, “We aren’t broke – so don’t try to fix us.”

pritzker-pavilion-and-lawn 

Produced in partnership with Millennium Park’s IN THE WORKS program, sponsored by The Boeing Company Charitable Trust. 

March 20, 2010 | 2 Comments More