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Houston Voice, No. 998, December 10, 1999
File 022
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Houston Voice, No. 998, December 10, 1999 - File 022. 1999-12-10. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. October 23, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/1439/show/1427.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1999-12-10). Houston Voice, No. 998, December 10, 1999 - File 022. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/1439/show/1427

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 998, December 10, 1999 - File 022, 1999-12-10, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed October 23, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/1439/show/1427.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 998, December 10, 1999
Contributor
  • Hennie, Matthew A.
Publisher Window Media
Date December 10, 1999
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 022
Transcript DECEMBER 10, 1999 • HOUSTON VOICE OUT ON THE BAYOU 21 On Stage THEATER NEWS & REVIEWS An invigorating 'hush' by D.L. GROOVER The British are coming. The British are coming. Theatrically, at least, in Houston during December. First, the work of Charles Dickens makes a wonderful appearance at the Alley in its invigorating, faithful rendition of A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Jonathan Harvey brings us a double whammy of his theatric imaginings with the American premiere of HUSHABYE MOUNTAIN at Theater LaB, while BEAUTIFUL THING continues at Little Room Downstairs. I really didn't want to see "Hushabye Mountain"—press information about thc production stressed its heavenly setting and the play's subtext is AIDS. This nearly called out "run away, run away" since it focuses on a subject I didn't care to be lectured about again. I was wrong. From the first image of the side curtain rising in balloon shades to reveal the Bird Woman from "Mary Poppins" singing her lullaby, "Feed the Birds," I was hooked. She sings while a new entrant to Heaven, Danny, receives his wings, providing the first taste of the magical realism that is so much a part of the production's charm. The Bird Woman is one of the numerous guises that Danny's mother, Beryl, assumes in his fevered imagination while he waits in Heaven's anteroom before he is to be "passed through." He has died of AIDS, and there are many unresolved issues from his life that need clarification before he gains entrance, providing the drama's bedrock. Harvey's new work is a more ambitious play than "Beautiful Thing." Full of surreal touches that shift time and location, often within the same scene, the drama tells Danny's tale and those closest to him; his absent yet loving mother; his lover, Connor; Connor's brother, Lee; and his live-in girlfriend, Lana, who happens to be Danny's best friend. To complicate matters, Connor has taken a new lover, Ben, and this quintet has its own unresolved issues to deal with before Danny, and all of them, can find final benediction. Full of Harvey's wicked wit and vaudeville touches, "Hushabye Mountain" isn't always successful in its preaching on AIDS. We've heard all these arguments before, even if here they are given an English spin. The rants and raves of "why me?" are rather shopworn; the medical expositions are dry and sometimes stop this play dead in its tracks. But the characters, blissfully stoned on weed or drunk as skunks on champagne, keep this play interesting, free-wheeling and beautifully daffy. The ensemble cast, cleverly assembled by director Jim Phillips, is of high caliber and embraces the characters with insight and grace. As Danny's mother, Susan Shofner is perfect. A rare find, she is luminous and radiates that special actor's warmth not often witnessed in the theater. In her many apparitions, all variations on Beryl's middle-class Dustin Ross and Susan Shofner in 'Hushabye Mountain/ housewife gradually going dotty, she gets to be Mary Poppins, a warped version of Judy Garland in ruby slippers pedaling her celestial rowboat as she collects fallen stars, a cigarette smoking statue of the Virgin Mary, or sad-sack dreary Mum sending her latest recipes to Danny in heart-rending letters of guilt. Her indelible performance is reason enough to see "Hushabye Mountain." Joel Sandel gives a finely tuned performance as Connor. Although Danny's the one trying to get into Heaven, it is Connor whose heart drives this play, as he struggles with commitment, need, selfishness and forgiveness. In one of many fine scenes, Connor and Danny rummage through their CDs to pick funeral music. Unintentional recriminations lead to a tender truce and Connor, before he carries Danny to bed for the last time, massages Danny's neck. It's over in an instant, but the gesture says everything that's right with their relationship, and Sandel handles it with poignant restraint. As an actor, Dustin Ross has a twitchy, neurotic style all his own—definitely "theatrical" and unique, witnessed to great advantage in "Shopping and Fucking" at Theater LaB last season. This innocence and dangerous dichotomy from Ross serves Danny well, as he tries to make sense of the conflicts consuming him. James Lane as Connor's brother, Lee, has a dark, sexy presence like a young Sean Connery. He adds a great deal of warmth to this big-hearted bloke, whose love of his gay brother and railing against hypocrisy bind all these friends together. After the breezy, sketchy quality of his "Beautiful Thing," Harvey's "Hushabye Mountain" is a truer-to-life fairy tale written with a dramatic hand. Hushabye Mountain Theater LaB Houston Through Dec. 19 1706 Alamo 713-868-7516 *t9mmmt€. tmrnmrnmrnrnWrnf M IIMtf A\M *C4f_ff .Cjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjt 0NE BILLION OCLLARJ " Prices May Vary. See Store For Details. • ,*# On «ii? in \tm ~^Si
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