Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 

TODAY

Tuesday, March 5

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


A/C
« The Art of Touring Stops at Johalla Projects on Friday Inception, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Wild Grass & The Living Wake »

Theatre Thu Jul 15 2010

Hesperia Makes us Sweat

ClaudiaTrick01.jpg

Nick Freed and Natalie DiCristofano as Trick and Claudia. Photo by Tom McGrath.

When you sit down at Right Brain Project's new play, Hesperia, you may notice an uber-friendly barefooted actress scampering around the hot little black box of a theater, introducing herself to the audience members and thanking them for coming. If you're like me, you may think to yourself, "Huh? Is this a cult? Have I stumbled in on some sort of church service?" Then, upon inspection of your program, when you find the hymn printed on the back, you'll really start to sweat.

I think that's how they want you to feel. Hesperia is, after all, about the relationships between a group of young born-again Christians in a small Midwestern town. The second of three thematically-linked new dramas by Gapers Block's own Randall Colburn, Hesperia follows Claudia, (played by the uber-friendly barefooted actress, Natalie DiCristofano) a former pornstar-turned-born-again who is about to marry the adorably nerdy youth group leader, Trick (Nick Freed), when her ex-boyfriend/partner-in-porn/childhood best friend Ian (Billy Fenderson) shows up looking for a fresh start in life. He inadvertantly throws a monkey-wrench into the mix, reminding everyone of Claudia's past, simply by being there.

I don't think I'm spoiling anything by telling you that Claudia still marries Trick. There are no twists, no surprises, none of that (un)expected Hollywood stuff. Instead, we are given a more subtle story of change, redemption, sacrifice, and tolerance-- something the born-agains would be proud of. Not to say that there isn't drama. There's lots of drama. There's a good amount of crying, a bit of screaming, and a little more dry-humping than most of us are probably comfortable with. But I get the sense that this play is intended to make us a little uncomfortable.

Don't get me wrong, there's a ton of humor in Hesperia as well. There are a few solid-gold scenes with a pubescent youth-group kid, Aaron (played perfectly-awkwardly by Danny Mulae), that are absolutely hilarious (if not a bit embarassing).

The substance in Hesperia is in the dialogue. There is pretty much no set-- just a little black box with some smaller black boxes for furniture, five chairs, and some clamp lights. There's not a whole lot of plot, either. It's really all about the people-- about the acting. And the acting is quite good. Very realistic. I got the sense that the characters were pretty close to who the actors are in real life. And if I'm wrong, good for them for tricking me.

Regardless of how you feel about religion, sexuality, adolescence, or what-have-you, the bottom line is that Hesperia is a simple but powerful production for those of us who are not afraid to be a little uncomfortable for 80 minutes. You can see it at the RBP Rorschach Theatre in Ravenswood on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays now through August 14. For tickets call 773-750-2033 or email tickets@therbp.org. Click here for more information.

 
GB store
GB store

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 »

Blogroll

ACRE
An Angry White Guy
Antena
AREA Chicago
ArchitectureChicago Plus
Arts Engagement Exchange
The Art Letter
Art or Idiocy?
Art Slant Chicago
Art Talk Chicago
Bad at Sports
Bite and Smile
Brian Dickie of COT
Bridgeport International
Carrie Secrist Gallery
Chainsaw Calligraphy
Chicago Art Blog
Chicago Art Department
Chicago Art Examiner
Chicago Art Journal
Chicago Artists Resource
Chicago Art Map
Chicago Art Review
Chicago Classical Music
Chicago Comedy Examiner
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Daily Views
Chicago Film Examiner
Chicago Film Archives
Chicago Gallery News
Chicago Uncommon
Collaboraction
Contemporary Art Space
Co-op Image Group
Co-Prosperity Sphere
Chicago Urban Art Society
Creative Control
Defibrillator
Devening Projects
Digressions
DIY Film
ebersmoore
The Exhibition Agency
The Flatiron Project
F newsmagazine
The Gallery Crawl...
Galerie F
The Gaudy God
Happy Dog Gallery
HollywoodChicago
Homeroom Chicago
I, Homunculus
Hyde Park Artcenter Blog
InCUBATE
Joyce Owens: Artist on Art
J-Pointe
Julius Caesar
Kasia Kay Gallery
Kavi Gupta Gallery
Rob Kozlowski
Lookingglass Theatre Blog
Lumpen Blog
Marquee
Mess Hall
N'DIGO
Neoteric Art
NewcityArt
NewcityFilm
NewcityStage
Not If But When
Noun and Verb
On Film
On the Make
Onstage
Peanut Gallery
Peregrine Program
Performink
The Poor Choices Show
Pop Up Art Loop
The Post Family
The Recycled Film
Reversible Eye
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Roots & Culture Gallery
SAIC Blog
The Seen
Sharkforum
Sisterman Vintage
Site of Big Shoulders
Sixty Inches From Center
Soleil's To-Do's
Sometimes Store
Steppenwolf.blog
Stop Go Stop
Storefront Rebellion
TOC Blog
Theater for the Future
Theatre in Chicago
The Franklin
The Mission
The Theater Loop
Thomas Robertello Gallery
threewalls
Time Tells Tony Wight Gallery
Uncommon Photographers
The Unscene Chicago
The Visualist
Vocalo
Western Exhibitions
What's Going On?
What to Wear During an Orange Alert?
You, Me, Them, Everybody
Zg Gallery

GB store

 

Events


A/C on Flickr

Join the A/C Flickr Pool.



About A/C

A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Nancy Bishop, nancy@gapersblock.com
A/C staff inbox: ac@gapersblock.com

Archives

 

A/C Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15