Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Cheaters and Sneaky Snakes

Last year, I think I went to more live theater than I did the movies. Yet I rarely write about theater because it doesn't fit with this site's extremely tight focus on "politics, movies, TV and kittens."

I will, however, put in a plug for a recent show that just opened in Chicago and which will be running until the end of May at one of this country's most renowned acting companies, an ensemble that can boast among its alums Gary Sinise and John Malcovich, to name just two.

Who should go see this show?

* If you're in a miserable relationship and are looking for a gentle prod as a way out.

* If you've ever been in a miserable relationship and found your way out.

* If you're in a great relationship (say, for example, you're dating someone with deep azure eyes the color of heaven) and want to be thankful.

* If you've just gone through a break-up and are looking for a show to "cheer you up." (Ok, this may be an overstatement: You'll at least know you haven't cornered the market on being miserable.)

* If you like great writing that is given its just due by all aspects of a production.

The show: Betrayal. The writer: Harold Pinter, winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature. The place: Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago. (The Nobel Committee described Pinter as the "foremost representative of British drama in the second half of the 20th century" and a playwright "who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms.")

The show was written by Pinter in 1978, more than 20 years into and near the end of his first turbulent marriage. A couple years later, in 1980, he would divorce and remarry. Twenty-six years later, he remains married, and apparently happily, to his second wife.

Hope springs eternal?

If you're in Chicago between now and then, skip the Sidetrack phonies and posers for a night and check out the phonies and posers in this play, who shed an all-too-real real light on human nature.

The characters in this play never learn the lesson (as so succinctly stated by Josh Wolff in the playbill) that "the deceptions they employ serve only to undermine what they all seek to gain in the end: human connection and companionship."

Not a bad thing to give some serious thought to, whether you've been in a relationship for a month or for 10 years.


jercwe said...

No gay preachers mentioned. Thanks!

jp said...

jer: is ted a former trick?

Kyle said...

I'm going to see Betrayal tonight in Tucson, Arizona, not Chi-town, but still!

jercwe said...

No comment.

And why is the word verification on this particular comment post 'jism'?

... Joey P. said...

kyle: did you like the show?

jim: 9 times out of 10, "jism" is the word verification word for this blog. i don't know why this is.

Kyle said...

The show was pretty good, but I work in theatre, so I'm hyper-critical!

... Joey P. said...

i agree that this is a show that if the director makes some bad choices, and if the show is miscast, that it could be, in Simon Cowell's words, ghastly.