CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.
Film Review: Denzel Washington & Viola Davis Swing for the ‘Fences’
CHICAGO – Viola Davis and Denzel Washington are actors who are likely to give plays adapted for the screen a good name. Their commitment to the material shines through in the new film “Fences.” Davis and Washington have a well worn familiarity with the characters –having portrayed them on Broadway in the 2010 revival of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize winning play.
The story centers on an aging African American couple in post-World War II Pittsburgh. Troy (Denzel Washington) is a former Negro League ballplayer who hit his prime before baseball’s color barrier was broken. Now he’s a garbage man making a living, but not much more, and carrying on about his glory days…nurturing the fantasy that he can still play, so as not to face reality. Troy’s wife is Rose (Viola Davis), who is clearly very fond of her husband, but can see right through his bluster to see what’s really eating him inside.
Make no mistake, “Fences” bears all the hallmarks of its stagey past. This is essentially the “play on screen,” complete with a period setting largely confined to a couple of locales, plus social messages and long speechifying, which clearly spells out each of the characters worldviews and beliefs. And as sure as the night follows day, audiences will be witness to see those clearly spelled out beliefs tested and tried – by whatever trials life and the late playwright (who also adapted the screenplay before he passed away) can throw at them over the next couple of hours.
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in ‘Fences’
Photo credit: Paramount Pictures