NUNN'S THEATER HABIT
Boys, Birds and Berlize
Sun. February 9, 2020 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn
The Boys in the Band play sashays into the Windy City Playhouse this week and it's a welcome return of a classic drama. The movie version of The Boys in the Band is full of angst and sadness and while this version of the show contains those elements, there is also more humor to lighten up the heavy second half of the story.
The Playhouse continues with a trend of immersing the audience into the production after having success with Southern Gothic in the past. It's a tactic that works very well in this case and watching the audience react while facing them is all part of the fun.
There's no need for an intermission as the audience can step out to use the restroom anytime. This can be distracting and hopefully kept to a minimum for future audiences. Serving cocktails and food goes right along with this, but the staff is quietly effecient in this regard. Possibly more food could be offered, such as cake during the birthday scene. Although, can you imagine the crumbs everywhere? Cupcakes outside in the lobby was the solution to this the night I attended.
The cast of The Boys in the Band are all strong in their various roles, no matter what the size or amount of lines. Some of them have heavier lifting to do than others, but they all have at least a brief moment to shine thanks to a telephone game.
Over the course of the 1968 play, many gay issues are tackled, some that are still relevant today such as monogamy and fem shaming. So, bring some friends to a show that will surely lead to interesting discussions afterwards.
Visit WindyCityPlayhouse.com for tickets now through April 19. With an extension the Band may play on!
After seeing all boys, let's head over to another theater spot to see an all girl endeavor for a change. Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) flies into cinemas and so far tickets are not soaring.
It's not the fault of the cast, though as Margot Robbie continues her trend of bringing original energy onto the big screen. There are so many characters that it's hard to keep up with, even if you read the comics, and not having much of a backstory for a strange choice of a villian such as Black Mask or even why Black Canary has a sonic scream is troublesome.
The movie is stronger than its spin-off Suicide Squad and better than many recent DC movies, but the humor doesn't take off like it should, grounding a movie with a ton of possibilities.
For more bird watching, take a trip to the Travel & Adventure Show at the Donald Stephenson Convention Center in Rosemont. It's one of the best gatherings of destination expos around with over 250 exhibitions under one roof.
On Feb. 8 and 9, attendees were treated to an environment that was family friendly and full of fun. The vendors tote in tons of swag and information highlighting various destinations from around the world. Everywhere from Chicago's backyard of Springfield, Illinois to exotic Africa is all part of the experience to take in over the course of two days. Guests can sign up right away to go on a cruise or plan out a future getaway adventure.
There were travel experts onhand to give advice and cool gagdets to aid in excursions. A vendor was even selling a plastic organizer to arrange carryon items that simply attaches to a window of a plane. What will they think of next?
Make plans to attend when it returns next year or follow the expo as it travels to another town in the future with a schedule at TravelShows.com.