I guess I should preface this review by mentioning a name- Mary Beth Fisher! Most theater audiences know that when they see this name, they are in for a wonderful theatrical experience. Now add to this name, the name of Rebecca Gilman, who has given Chicago many marvelous theatrical experiences with her wonderful scripts and to top off this list, Robert Falls ( a name that “means’ The Goodman Theatre) as director and you will understand why I was so taken by the World Premiere of Ms Gilman’s newest play, “Luna Gale” that opened on this cold and blustery Chicago week-end.
This is a heartwarming story about how we, as individuals look at things and situations. In this story, we have a young , unmarried couple, Karly ( a strong character developed by Reyna de Courcy) and her boyfriend, Peter ( deftly handled by Colin Sphar) who have a baby, Luna Gale ( who by the way, we never see) that is ill and the Docs have called in a Family Services Social Worker, Caroline ( Ms. Fisher in another wonderful performance) who must follow procedure. These “kids” are drug addicts and have neglected the baby, so now Luna is being handed over to Karlie’s mother Cindy ( Jordan Baker).
Caroline finds that Cindy is a very spirited Christian who is quite controlled by her pastor ( Richard Thieriot) and seeing something that doesn’t quite seem right, decides to work with the youngsters in order to give them a fresh start at a better life. Here I will tell you, that there are some mysterious plot changes that arise as Caroline invents a way to keep Luna with her parents, and a sit turns out what has been invented, may just be real. will not divulge any more at this time as I would not want to spoil the theatrical experience for you.
Ms. Gilman’s take on a social issue such as this one gets into faith ( too much, none? in yourself? In those who make up your world?), love ( of self? of a child? of a parent?) and what can happen in your future is someone believes in you and /or you believe in yourself. This is a strong, serious matter, but Gilman handles it with a humorous side as well. There are some very comedic moments in this two hour plus production that will keep you glued to your seat from start to finish. The other characters in the play are Cliff, Caroline’s supervisor ( well handled by Erik Hellman) and Lourdes ( the lovely Melissa DuPrey, who is another young lady about to change her life due to the work and care of Caroline.
The technical parts of this production are also amazing. The sets are on a giant turntable designed by Todd Rosenthal so there is no lost time in changing from scene to scene allowing the action to continue with no stops. Robert Wierzel’s lighting and Richard Woodbury’s sound and original music along with the costumes( Kaye Voyce) make this a stunning presentation.
“Luna Gale” will continue at The Goodman Theatre ( Albert Theatre) through February 23rd with performances as follows:
Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.
Thursdays 7:30 p.m.
Fridays 8 p.m.
Saturdays at 2 ( starting 2/8) and 8 p.m.
Sundays 2 and 7:30 p.m. ( except/9 and 2/16)
There is also a performance on Tuesday, February 11th at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets range in cost from $25 and can be purchased at the Theatre box office located at 170 N. Dearborn, by phone at 312443-3800 or online at www.GoodmanTheatre.org/Luna
You can also visit the website to see the special events around “Luna Gale”
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-Up and click at “Luna Gale”