FROM ENSEMBLE MEMBER TRACY LETTS
DIRECTED BY DEXTER BULLARD
NOW PLAYING – MAY 21, 2017
In life everything changes. Seasons change, we change schools and jobs, and we even have daylight saving where time changes. George Benson’s song “Everything Must Change” lets us know that nothing stays the same; but can we find a constant, unchanging cycle of life in an ever-changing environment? With all of these changes, the hardest change we will ever face is our own perspective of change. Wheeler, a 50-year-old male in the Play “Linda Vista,” is experiencing this perceptional lifestyle as he tries to find the man he wants to be from a man that seems to have lost his way.
This experience can be kind of fearsome when you are going through a mid-life crisis, when you come face to face with your reality and wonder what lies ahead of you. Your future seems bleak and you are trying desperately to salvage a gesture to right all of your wrongs to become a better person; however, as Director Dexter Bullard stated, “this play expanded like a folding map in terms of meaning.”
Ian Barford, who plays Wheeler, orchestrated an exceptional performance at being opinionated, self-exorbitant, egotistical, arrogant, self-centered and seemingly void of understanding the feelings and emotions of others. Wheeler is in the process of ending his marriage, but he’s still living in the garage of his ex-wife. His job provides him with little to no satisfaction and with nothing to lose, he moves to an apartment complex where he seeks out love, companionship and if he’s lucky…sex. But Wheeler is really searching to find something even more important: himself.
As the play begins, he moves into the new apartment with the help of his friend Paul, played by Tim Hopper. The poignant conversations between the two brought back the days of Abbott and Costello “Who’s on first,” with their banter of “You’re going to do what you are going to do.” Paul tries to stay neutral when conversing with Wheeler about his wayward philosophy. However, his wife, Margaret, played by Sally Murphy, is anything but impartial with her colorful comments about Wheeler and his choices. Her in your face approach is evident when Wheeler does the unspeakable after they set him up with a date. Their unique balance of friendship and fiascos add a rich flavor of joy, sadness, laughter and pain.
Another great performance was given by Kahyun Kim as Minnie the Millennial princess, who meets Wheeler at a bar, never imagining a nascent relationship with an old Generation X loser. She realizes that they have something in common, emerging an unlikely bond that grows between the loser and the exile princess. Other notable performances were given by Cora Vander Broek as Jules and Caroline Neff as Anita.
Linda Vista, which is playing at the Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted, until May 21 is an enjoyable comedy that will keep you laughing until the end with its witty satire and somewhat controversial zingers where nothing or no one is off limits.
Director Dexter Bullard gives the audience some great insight on loneliness, aggression, friendship, intimacy, sex, dreams, loss and obsessions when it comes to self-examination or the lack there of.
We were pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed this almost 3 hour play, which kept us entertained and amused. We definitely recommend seeing Linda Vista; so go get your tickets today.
The cast included: Ian Barford (Wheeler), Tim Hopper (Paul), Kahyun Kim ( Minnie), Sally Murphy (Margaret), Caroline Neff (Anita), Cora Vander Broek (Jules) and Troy West (Michael Voice).
Rev. Rick & Brenda McCain are the hosts of “Let’s Stay Together Talk!”