Buy Your Tickets Here!
Join us as we celebrate Shaw’s writing during a musical renaissance of Chicago: the Jazz Age. We’ll be pairing works of Shaw with the works of great Jazz artists and writers of the time like Jelly Roll Morton, Lovie Austin, Lil Hardin Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Zora Neale Hurston, Langson Huges, and more!
Call us at 321-587-7390 to RSVP! Tickets are $200 and a table of eight for $1,400.
A Snapshot Review
by Luther Goins
January 16, 2017
Photo source: http://cdn.collider.com
Denzel Washington plays Troy Maxson and Viola Davis plays Rose Maxson in Fences from Paramount Pictures. Directed by Denzel Washington from a screenplay by August Wilson. Having seen the exquisite James Earl Jones and Mary Alice in the original Broadway production of Fences, and having thoroughly enjoyed numerous regional theatre productions, I was a bit leery of a film production of what stands out as August Wilson’s most celebrated stage play.
Thankfully, I understand, and accept, the power that follows admitting when you are wrong. Denzel Washington’s film production of FENCES gave me another opportunity to acknowledge this power. The film is nothing less than perfection.
His casting, direction, acting in a principle role; along with his extremely appropriate selection of outdoor and other locations for some scenes, presents a professional guide to excellent film making.
With Viola Davis…
you always take the journey.
FENCES is the story of Troy Maxson, a mid-century Pittsburgh sanitation worker who once dreamed of a baseball career, but was too old when the major leagues began admitting black players. He tries to be a good husband and father, but his lost dream of glory eats at him, and causes him to make a decision that threatens to tear his family apart.
Troy’s older brother, Gabe Maxson, sustained a head injury in World War II that left him mentally impaired, for which he received a $3000 government payout that Troy (with much ongoing guilt) used to purchase a home for his family.
If his superb directing is not enough, Denzel Washington’s stunning (and hopefully) award-winning performance of Troy Maxson is not to be missed. We have all become very familiar with Mr. Washington and his talents as an actor. So used to him…that we take him for granted. It is a true honor to watch him work (as an actor) in this film. His choices are dead on, his concentration and focus are flawless, and his determination to let us see and experience Troy Maxson is selfless and utterly amazing. Denzel Washington, the movie star and celebrity, quickly disappears and allows an absolutely amazing performance.
Viola Davis as always, defines acting and character development at its’ best.
Her portrayal of Rose Maxson, Troy’s wife, is not to be missed. She gloriously, and proudly, shows us the strength that women have. The strength that keeps the day-to-day emotional struggles from consuming her. She reminds us that women do this on a daily basis.
True, solid, and excellent story telling
is about the all of us…
and the human condition.
When we, the regular person, puts down $8.00 to $10.00 for a movie ticket, it’s nice to recognize that your money has been well spent. With Viola Davis, you quickly celebrate the fact that you are in talented and capable hands. With Viola Davis…you always take the journey.
If a wonderful script/screenplay and stunning performances by Denzel Washington and Viola Davis is not enough, stand by. Mykelti Williamson’s performance of the troubled Gabriel Maxson (Uncle Gabe) is moment-to-moment, honest, refreshing, exciting, and brilliant all at once. He will quietly break (and steal) your heart. His portrayal of Uncle Gabe clearly stands out as one of the best performances of 2016.
The remainder of this highly appropriate, and extremely talented cast, is spectacular. Stephen McKinley Henderson as Jim Bono, Jovan Adepo as Cory Maxson, Russell Hornsby as Lyons Maxson, and Saniyya Sidney as Raynell Maxson. They present a masterclass of superb acting. All together, they remind us that a good play (and a good film) is about ensemble work; about breathing truth; about listening; and about reacting. BRAVO!
Denzel Washington’s film production of this August Wilson’s masterpiece reminds us that true, solid, and excellent story telling is not about a certain type of person, not about a place, a time, a color, or a nationality. True, solid, and excellent story telling is about the all of us…and the human condition. August Wilson would have loved this movie.
Don’t miss FENCES.
About LUTHER GOINS
(Producer, Director, Playwright)
After working extensively in Cincinnati as a producer, director, and acting instructor, Luther re-located to Chicago. He worked as the Assistant to the Producer at the Skokie-based Northlight Theatre. While at Northlight, Luther also held the position of Resident Artistic Director at the African-American based Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre in Evanston, IL. In 1995, he accepted the Managing Director position for the Chicago Theatre Company (another African-American company) located on Chicago’s south side. After many exciting discussions about the opportunities to work directly with the minority membership, Luther accepted a Union Representative position in the Chicago office of Actors’ Equity Association. In 2001, LOVE CHILD, his first play, received a Jeff Citation for “Best New Work”; two Chicago After Dark Awards “Best New Work” and “Best Ensemble”. In 2002, another production of LOVE CHILD received the Chicago African-American Arts Alliance Award for “Best New Play”; and the Cincinnati Entertainment Award for “Best Local Premiere for 2002.” LOVE CHILD, which made its debut in January 2001 at Chicago’s Live Bait Theatre, has celebrated five productions across the country. Luther is happily married to Leon Schrauben, a Chicago Public Schools Teacher. Mr. Goins is currently working on BOY, a new play.
CHICAGO—ShawChicago concludes its 2016/17 season, Dysfunctional Family Fun, with George Bernard Shaw’s World War I dramedy Heartbreak House. In a Chekovian Fantasia style, Shaw presents a caricature of the 1910s British upper class obsession with propriety. “[Essentially] The upper class who should be the ruling classes fiddle while the country falls apart,” says Artistic Director Robert Scogin. This production runs March 4 through March 27 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60610.
Welcome to the Heartbreak House, where everyone is the least bit concerned that there is a war going on. Boss Mangan, a cold businessman, will marry Ellie Dunn, despite being her father’s age. Ellie Dunn concedes because she’s tired of being poor, but may (or may not) be in love with Hector Hushabye, who is married to Hesione. Hesione is more than happy to oblige Ellie, since her husband is such a liar. Lady Utterword, Hesione’s sister, has returned after 23 years; little does she know that her brother-in-law, Randall, is in romantic pursuit. Captain Shotover, Hesione’s and Lady Utterword’s father, just wants a bottle of rum. Just outside their window, a strange man breaks in, only to ask for charity.
At an unofficial house party, with so much unrequited love, desire is rampant and pettiness is guaranteed. But even with the whole world burning, only witty humor can forge any sort of happy ending for these lasting characters.
“It is relevant [today] because there are so many politicians in government but nothing’s getting done,” says Scogin. “It’s just the 1% who’s out for themselves…. You could say that it’s the 1% that’s running stuff in Heartbreak House and today.”
Cast Members Include: Lydia Berger Gray, Allison Cook, Christian Gray, Richard Henzel, Doug MacKechnie, Richard Marlatt, Mary Michell, Jonathan Nichols and Barbara Zahora.
WHO: ShawChicago Theater Company
WHAT: George Bernard Shaw’s Heartbreak House
WHERE: 1016 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL 60610
WHEN: March 4, 3 PM
March 5, 3 PM
March 6, 2 PM
March 11, 3 PM
March 12, 3 PM
March 13, 10 AM
March 18, 3 PM
March 19, 3 PM
March 20, 7 PM
March 25, 3 PM
March 26, 3 PM
March 27, 7 PM
TICKETS: $35.00 General, $30.00 Senior Citizen, $20.00 Students. Group rates available. Tickets may be purchased at www.shawchicago.org or over the phone at 312-587-7390.
About Robert Scogin
Robert Scogin, ShawChicago’s Artistic Director, is celebrating his twenty-first season at ShawChicago, where he has directed more than fifty productions. He was awarded The Chicago Drama League’s 2008 Crystal Award, and has appeared on Broadway (Henry V, 1969) and Off-Broadway (Children of the Ladybug, 1967 and Where The Wolves Run, 1972.) He taught and directed Shakespeare and Shaw at the Turkish State Theater Conservatory in Ankara and Konya, Turkey. In March of 2009 he staged the world premiere of his new adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts on World Theater Day in Konya, Turkey. Scogin made his Chicago debut at The Goodman Theatre in Much Ado About Nothing. He also starred as Bob Cratchit in the Goodman’s original production of A Christmas Carol, a role he repeated for thirteen years. Other credits with The Goodman include The Tempest and the world premieres of David Mamet’s translation of Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard and Mamet’s own play Lakeboat.
ShawChicago is a professional non-profit theater company founded in 1994 with a mission to present the plays of George Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries as concert readings. Operating under an Actors’ Equity contract, ShawChicago celebrates its 23rd season, Dysfunctional Family Fun. The company presents special afternoon performances for senior citizens and morning performances for students throughout the Chicagoland area. ShawChicago also offers outreach performances across the city and its suburbs, providing theater to libraries, senior living communities and schools. ShawChicago is a theater company in residence at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts.
Buy Your Tickets Here!
Hey ShawFam! We made it!
WE EXCEEDED OUR $10,000 GOAL!!!!!
Thank you for donating, your hardcore support, attending our productions, or just liking a post on Facebook or Twitter! Here’s to another year of providing you with the best classical theater in Chicago!
G. Bernard Shaw’s war play Heartbreak House is a dramedy filled with wit, romance and unforgettable characters. Captain Shotover and his daughters shock Ellie Dunn out of her romantic delusions and show her how to negotiate the maze of British family life.
The Belle Of Amherst, Starring Paddy Lynn!
June 12, 2017, join us for a special summer treat. William Luce‘s The Belle of Amherst is a one-woman play on the life of Emily Dickinson. Starring Paddy Lynn, this is our annual springtime fundraiser. Dessert will follow the performance! Stay tuned for more details!