It is always nice when it happens that something good is in your neighborhood. Such is the case with Writers Theatre in Glencoe, Illinois.
In the past few weeks, we have seen several great plays there, the first one in the larger of the two, Writers Theatre venues, the second, last night, in the smaller, more intimate setting of the smaller theatre.
The first play we say this month was ‘Parade,’ based on a true story and a book by Alfred Uhry and co-conceived by Harold Prince. It is shown in the larger Nichols Theatre at Writers. This is a Tony Award-winning musical that tells the story of a Brooklyn-raised, southern-living man by the name of Leo Frank. It takes place in 1913 in the town of Atlanta. It is a timely showing as this Jewish man suddenly finds himself being accused of murder. Ignorance, prejudice, and racism come to play as he goes to trial. There was not a single moment of boredom as this play unfurled its scary plot.
The second play we saw on Friday night, ‘The Mystery of Love and Sex.’ This play, written by Bathsheba Doran, starts out as a picnic type dinner of college students for one set of their parents. Jonny and Charlotte have been friends since they were nine, and are best friends, trying to figure out the complexities of their sexual natures and of their relationship. They are not sure if they should try for something more than just being best friends. Jonny is black and Charlotte is white. Her parents come to have dinner with them. Dad is Jewish, from New York, and a mystery novel writer, Mom is southern, smokes, and is trying to quit. The intimate Gillian Theatre was the perfect venue showing the challenges of relationships, sexual identity, and overall life choices. On a side note, there is full frontal nudity that was totally appropriate within the framework of the play, but shocking to some. This play was also completely compelling and timely.
We sure are lucky to have places like Writers Theatre in our neighborhood.