Last Monday, I took an evening off from my usual television fare and wandered to The Green house Theatre. Luckily since I am an actress and a theatre person, I took the chance to see an unknown play at one of the lesser known theatres. What I got was a pleasant surprise. There are a million little theatre companies in Chicago and in every neighborhood. Find a vacant building and chances are that there are a company of actors that hope to be the new Lookingglass or Steppenwolf. Unfortunately, most of them are far from these class acts and usually open to audiences of one or none.
Cole Theatre has one advantage, the founder comes from strong theatre stock. Boyd Harris is theatre royalty being the nephew of Steppenwolf founder, Gary Sinise. I got excited when I heard this since I am a fan of Steppenwolf. With this fact, I was excited to experience this original piece of theatre.
I fell in love with the set design by Grant Sabin. His vision of a set of bachelors reminded me of every frat house I ever went in college. The piece that really caught my eye was the James Bond portrait on the upstage wall. First of all, in the course of the play is the question of masculinity. These boys are truly examples of the Peter Pan syndrome. They are men who have never married and they are skiing toward forty. As a matter of fact, the dynamic of the three reminded me of stereotypical sitcom males . The characters that came to my mind were from two classic shows. “How I Met Your Mother” and “Friends.” The pacing of the show began at a sitcom pace but then it slowed down.
Once again the picture brought to my mind a certain train of thought. The banana was a phallic symbol and it seemed like these three “boys” were ruled by their penises. There was no metrosexual, it was cut and dry heteros. But in the course of the play, these frat boys had to confront their friend and her ovarian cancer. One of them was actually engaged to the woman and had put off the inevitable thinking that there would always be a tomorrow.The woman takes charge by dumping him so she can taste life. He handles it the typical way that a man handles getting dumped and that is liquor.
Each character is a stereotype but what I found refreshing was that at least one of the characters had a little hope. Shane Kenyon’s Laurie, gave me the most hope of the three that at least in the world that all men aren’t like this. There is still the kind of men that women like Shonda Rhimes has written, the romantic hero who rescues and builds houses for their lady loves. It is a brilliant modern play that makes its audience think about how we view masculinity in our modern society. So if you want to see a fast paced play that will give you and your date plenty to discuss after the show, this is the show for you.
The play continues until April 10. For more info go to http://www.ColeTheatre.org