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Theatre Tue May 27 2008

A Bitter but Very Sweet Taste

Considered one of the most bold and pivotal plays of its time, "A Taste of Honey," written by the famous British playwright Shalegh Delany is a bold and avant guard piece about poverty, sex, race and family that pushes the boundaries about acceptable societal norms. It was earth shattering when it debuted on the big stage in 1959 and Shattered Globe's rendition of this riveting and socially provocative work is absolutely solid.

The play centers around Josephine or Jo (Helen Sadler), a seventeen year old girl from a working class home and her mother, Helen (Linda Reiter) a sexually indiscriminate and vulgar person who leaves Jo for a wealthy, younger man, Peter (Jeremy Van Meter. Add to the mix Jo's relationship to and subsequent pregnancy with a black sailor, Boy (Bryson Engelen), her temporary destitution, and Jo's relationship with her gay roommate, Geoff (Kevin Viol), an art student who becomes a father figure for Jo during her pregnancy.

The Shattered Globe troupe does a tremendous job presenting the conflict and emotional strain of the various social taboos addressed in this work. A danger of a play of this nature is that it may not seem realistic; that is not the case here. Helen Sadler's performance is simply riveting. She is both fragile and powerful as she navigates through crisis after crisis, demonstrating the duality that exists in women confronted with abandonment, forbidden love, privation and hope. She anchors the performance and allows the audience to identify with her by giving them a glimpse into her core being.

Linda Reiter is adorably deplorable as a self-absorbed and opportunistic bad mother. Just as you begin to completely despise her, she shows glimpses of love for her daughter that demonstrate the complexities of her character. Kevin Viol's performance is brilliant as he serves as Jo's societal father figure while living a bohemian and socially unaccepted lifestyle. Bryson Engelen rounds out the performance as a young, passionate lover who due to his profession, is unavailable to Jo during her greatest time of need.

Everything about this play is wonderful. The British accents are authentic and good throughout, the set is well done and the jazz music played throughout adds the perfect underscore to the story and to the characters. You'll feel for Jo, cry with Jo, and hope for Jo. This is absolutely a must see.

When: Through July 5th
Where: Victory Gardens Greenhouse Theatre
2257 North Lincoln Ave. (773) 549-5788
Price: $27-$35

 
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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »

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