As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block has ceased publication. 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 over the past 12-plus years. 

TODAY

Sunday, December 17

Gapers Block
Search

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


A/C
« Charming and Entertaining, the Plucky Rosenthal Show Shines at Uptown Underground Outgoing Signal: A Grateful Essay About the End of a Theater Company »

Theater Mon Oct 05 2015

Remy Bumppo's Love and Information Blends Memories, Paranoia, Human Connections

Love and Information
Photo by Johnny Knight.

Caryl Churchill said in a 1960 essay, "The role of the playwright is not to give answers but to ask questions." I suspect most of those who attended Remy Bumppo's new production of Churchill's 2012 play, Love and Information, would agree. Lots of questions, few answers.

The production is made up of about 50 seemingly unrelated scenes in random order, some no more than a few seconds, and the longest lasting a few minutes. They are played out by 10 actors, all of whom play many roles, in an anonymous space fitted out with steel shelving units and corrugated file boxes of different sizes. The boxes themselves suggest data--as in all the boxes it takes to store the paperwork for a legal case or a consulting engagement--or the memories of a life. The scenes, skillfully choreographed by director Shawn Douglass, add up to a pastiche of love, memories and the need to make human connections in an era fraught with technology.

The 85-minute play is at times funny, sad, poignant or puzzling. The actors make use of current technology in many scenes. In "Wedding Video," for instance, three couples comment on the video while watching the event on a smartphone, a tablet or a television set.

The cast includes veteran actors such as David Darlow (he of the rich voice) and Mary Poole (with perfect diction) and newer talents such as Emjoy Gavino and Frank Sawa. Penelope Walker and Raymond Fox give strong performances in several scenes, as do Andrés Enriquez, Gregory Fenner, Linda Gillum and Jennifer Glasse.

Fox and Gavino practice memory tests in "Memory House" while Darlow and Walker are touching as one-time lovers remembering the old days in "Ex." In another scene, "Linguist," a multilingual waiter flummoxes his patron with dozens of words for "table." In "Virtual," a man expresses his love for his virtual girlfriend to a friend. "She's just information ... she hasn't got a body she has a fantastic ... I've never felt like this before."

Jacqueline and Rick Penrod's minimalist design works beautifully. Boxes are opened to retrieve props and costumes, pulled out for seating or festooned with pillows and coverlet to create a bedroom scene. Occasionally a table and chairs are added to the set. Sarah Hughey's flexible lighting highlights a current scene, while actors may be in place for another to follow quickly.

Churchill's script comprises seven sections; her intro asks that they be performed in the order written but that individual scenes within each section can be performed in any order. Randomizing or unrandomizing the scenes would make no difference. Love and Information expresses our ADHD culture and our paranoia about security and privacy while illuminating our need for those human connections.

From a scene titled "Facts:"

--Do you love me?
--What color is the caterpillar of the brownhaired bat moth?
--Pale orange with black stripes.
--Dont do that.
--What is the formula that disproves Godel's theorem?
--X bracket a over t minus pi sigma close bracket to the power of ten minus n to the power of minus one squared
--What is a plok?
--A stringed instrument played by the Larts of the Gobi Desert
--By what name do we usually refer to Oceanus Australensis Picardia?
--I do yes I do. Sea anemone.

Caryl Churchill, now 77, has written 50-some plays and rarely repeats herself in content or form. She's been called the David Bowie of contemporary theater because of her constant reinvention of her work. Some of her plays that have been performed recently in Chicago are: Serious Money (1989, Court Theatre, the first Churchill play I saw), Top Girls (2015, the Den Theatre) and Cloud Nine (2011, Gift Theatre).

Love and Information continues through November 1 at Remy Bumppo Theatre, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. Performances are Thursday through Sunday at varying times with one Wednesday performance on Oct. 7. You can buy tickets for $42.50 to $52.50 online or by calling 773-404-7336.

 
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