Chicago Theater Review: TALES OF THE TWINKLING TWILIGHT (Raven Theatre)

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by Lawrence Bommer on November 4, 2012

in Theater-Chicago

TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE PLAY

Developed by Raven Theatre’s Workshop Series, these ten hit-and-run “playlettes” by John Weagly take only 52 minutes to rearrange reality into quirky juxtapositions and odd angles.

Everything seems immediately familiar, then instantly not: An apparently innocuous wolfman refuses to be called a werewolf as he suffers a stomach ache from the sheep he just noshed on at a petting zoo. In another gustatory moment, a mortal tells a priest outside a confessional that he prefers eating angel wings to chicken’s any day.

Lawrence Bommer’s Stage and Cinema review of Tales of the Twinkling Twilight At the Raven in Chicago

We encounter or hear about two-toed and no-nosed gangsters who run an extortion racket, a job-seeker who literally believes that two heads are better than one, two ladies celebrating the Chinese New Year as they await a rickshaw that will never arrive, a rivalry between a spider-loving obsessive and a snake-touting zealot (this comes with illustrative slides), and a space visitor who hopes that an office elevator can be commandeered for a return home.

Weagly is fascinated with lovers who are convinced that the right kiss will secure eternal bliss. In “Watching Paint Dry,” he actually injects drama into this metaphor for boredom: Two house painters decide who gets the wife they’re disputing over by whether the blue or the red patches dry first.

Lawrence Bommer’s Stage and Cinema review of Tales of the Twinkling Twilight At the Raven in Chicago

This last sketch provides a clue to these Tales of the Twinkling Twilight. Weagly examines the silly or surreal side of seemingly, even relentlessly, ordinary human activities. As staged by Breahan Eve Pautsch, these ten daffy depictions can’t outwear their welcome. (It sure helps to be brief, but concision takes its toll too.) As one character admits, Weagly’s creatures love to roll downhill, pretending that it’s the world that tumbles and whirls, not the roller. More often than not, Weagly’s illusion works well—or, more properly, plays well.

Lawrence Bommer’s Stage and Cinema review of Tales of the Twinkling Twilight At the Raven in Chicagophotos by Claire Monson

Tales of the Twinkling Twilight
Raven Theatre
scheduled to end on November 25, 2012
for tickets call 773-338-2177 or visit http://www.raventheatre.com

for info on this and other Chicago Theater, visit http://www.TheatreinChicago.com

{ 1 comment }

Catherine Wagner November 5, 2012 at 5:45 am

Awesome Weagly!

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