Audio Podcast at ITUNES Chicago Theatre Reviews for Week of June 23rd Narrated by Joshua Volkers
About Face Theatre presents THE HOMOSEXUALS Reviewed by Katy Walsh There is an accepted belief that six degrees separates one person from any other person. In the gay community, the linkage is considerably tighter and more intimate. That guy knows that man who is friends with that grinder dude. A mere three degrees separates a gay from a hook-up. About Face Theatre presents the world premiere of THE HOMOSEXUALS. When couples break-up, there is a morbid curiosity to figure out how the relationship arrived at that point. Who changed or didn't change? Evan dumps Peter. The postmortem begins. Peter wants to know when Evan had a change of heart. This question leads to a ten-year retrospective on Evan's life in Boystown. The series of flashbacks provide insightful moments to how Evan grows into his sexual orientation. THE HOMOSEXUALS is a comedic deconstruction of a man coming out with his friends.
As a card-carrying fag hag since my arrival in Chicago in 1994, I am two degrees away from living this play. Playwright Philip Dawkins pens a legitimate tale of the happenstance around transient folk hooking-up as friends. Dawkins uses over-the-top caricatures and dialogue for continuous laugh-out-loud hilarity. The comedy entertains with raunch and wit. But THE HOMOSEXUALS is more than hot shirtless scenes and bitchy one liners. At its essence, it's a poignant portrayal of a man's coming-of-gay story told backwards. Director Bonnie Metzgar keeps tight reins on the comedy and drama to ensure the message is delivered but with humor. Metzgar facilitates a powerful performance by Patrick Andrews (Evan) through the years. For each episodic scene, Andrews interacts with only one other actor in the look- back to the initial party. Each year, Andrews explores his current issues with a range of emotions from horny to rage to despondent. The outstanding ensemble react to his situation with comedic relief. Among the unforgettable encounters, the humor was heightened by a trio with perfect distinction and timing. Scott Bradley (Peter) is deliciously, unapologetically campy. Elizabeth Ledo (Tam) zings the punch line with determined confidence. And Stephen Cone (Michael) bumbles with geeky-sweet charm. When Cone mimics a Bradley shtick, his uncertain rendition is absolutely uproarious. To transition the years and the scenes, Metzgar effectively uses the current actor in the scene for dressing up or down Andrews. It's playful whimsy followed by Andrews walking backwards to emphasize the changing times. The stage designed by Regina Garcia also continually transforms the segments. The beginning is stark. The ending is the back porch of a house. In between, Garcia aids the scene's placement with unique touches to show personality.
I heart the THE HOMOSEXUALS! It's so reminiscent of my own gay entourage... except funnier! My only concern is for The Heterosexuals, especially the tea partying kind. SIDENOTE TO THE STRAIGHTS: Even though a solid romantic relationship is not portrayed as the norm in this play, my experience denies that notion. In fact within my world, the gay couples are beating the straights in monogamy and commitment. THE HOMOSEXUALS, get to know them... they're a lovable, fun bunch! From the entourage, Scott-dds describes it with "gay-archetype-buffet.' Running Time: Two hours and thirty minutes includes an intermission At Victory Garden, 2433 N. Lincoln Written by Philip Dawkins Directed by Bonnie Metzgar Thursdays and Fridays at 8pm Saturdays at 9pm Saturdays and Sundays at 5pm Thru August 14th Buy Tickets