#70. On June 28, 1969, a police raid on NYC’s Stonewall Inn started an insurrection. Cops had regularly harassed the gay and lesbian clientele in Greenwich Village bars. On a hot summer night, the people resisted… interrogation, discrimination and persecution. In this historic moment, they fought back and the gay rights movement was born.
The Inconvenience, in conjunction with Steppenwolf Garage Rep, presents HIT THE WALL. It’s 1969. In Greenwich Village, people are protesting against the usual things… the war, racial discrimination and the death of Judy Garland. A drag queen, a drag king, a street kid, a hippie, an army dodger, two bitchy queens walk into a bar… No, it’s not the beginning of joke. It’s the beginning of a revolution. When the cops raid the party, a unification of individuality sparks an uprising. The time for change has started. HIT THE WALL crushes it with heart-pounding music and action.
Playwright Ike Holter has recreated an audacious moment in recent US history. The event itself is troubling from a where-we-were AND how-far-we’ve-come AND we’ve-still-have-so far-to-go evolution of thought. Despite the shameful premise, Holter makes this show throb with in-your-face boldness coupled with a cheeky playfulness. He uses vibrant characters to represent the LGBTQI2-S (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Two-Spirit) community. Under the direction of Eric Hoff, the talented cast energetically takes on the establishment. Hoff teases out personal moments of triumph within intense moments of riotous mayhem. Manny Buckley (Carson) gives a powerful performance as a disrobed but still dignified drag queen. Daeshawna Cook (Roberta) is hilarious with sisters-are-doing-it-for-themselves moxie. The entire cast *brings it* to riot. Individually, each morphs into an interesting stereotype. Collectively, they meld together with a band of misfits’ synergy. The choreographed fusion is visually and symbolically powerful. In addition, Hoff effectively stages poignant soliloquies all around the theatre. The choice pulls the audience into the action. Pre-show and during the show, a three piece band (Josh Lambert, Ryan Murphy, Will Wood) rock this world. The music blares perfectly to set the rebellious tone.
The Inconvenience debuted their ode to the Stonewall riots to massive success. The biggest unresolved protest in this show is lack of tickets. Despite an extension beyond the original Garage Rep series, the smash HIT THE WALL is still sold out!
Dear The Inconvenience, you have MEGA-HIT THE WALL! Bask in that and then remount it! HIT THE WALL needs to be seen by everyone.
Running Time: Ninety minutes with no intermission
At Steppenwolf Garage, 1650 N. Halsted
Written by Ike Holter
Directed by Eric Hoff
Extended thru April 22nd
More information visit www.steppenwolf.org