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Houston Voice, No. 997, December 3, 1999
File 022
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Houston Voice, No. 997, December 3, 1999 - File 022. 1999-12-03. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. July 3, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/7565/show/7557.

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.

(1999-12-03). Houston Voice, No. 997, December 3, 1999 - File 022. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/7565/show/7557

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. 997, December 3, 1999 - File 022, 1999-12-03, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed July 3, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/7565/show/7557.

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. 997, December 3, 1999
Contributor
  • Hennie, Matthew A.
Publisher Window Media
Date December 3, 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 3, 1999 • HOUSTON VOICE OUT ON THE BAYOU 21 On Stage THEATER NEWS & REVIEWS Slice of life is 'bang on' by D.L. GROOVER Simply put, go see this play. You might be familiar with British playwright Jonathan Harvey's popular film "Beautiful Thing" from 1996, but the play— a hit in London and New York and now in Houston—is more subtle and full of nuance. The movie gave a face to the London area of Thamesmeade, but "opening it up" for the big screen didn't enhance it. BEAUTIFUL THING is a chamber piece, and needs the small, confining limits oi the theater to breathe life into its five characters. The quintet comprising this "urban fairy tale" lives side by side in a public housing project in London's industrial southeast near Greenwich. Jamie, 16, lives with his divorced Mum, .Sandra, a hard-working, hard-loving bar maid. Not good at sports, "weird" and picked on at sd"ux>l tor being different, Jamie is too conflicted about his awakening sexuality to make sense of anything. His dreams, though, include his next door neighbor, Ste, a school chum. Sandra has dreams of managing a higger, better pub and getting out of the projects where she can relax on a spiffy, new, overstuffed sofa. Ste dreams of working at the Sports Center where he could swim underwater, alone and happy. But his daily life is far from idyllic, with healings each evening from his father and older brother. 1 cah lives on the other side of Jamie and Sandra's apartment. Recently kicked out of school for a variety of offenses, she's a good- time girl, unconcerned that her untethered life is drifting out of control. She dreams of a singing career like her idol, Mama Cass. And then there's Tony, Sandra's boyfriend "du jour," a pot-smoking hippie whose brain seems fried, or at least stuck in the platitudes of the '60's, an era he's too young to have lived through. These five are the only people we see. It's to Harvey's credit that we don't really miss anyone else. Their hard scrabble lives are enough for us. We're immediately drawn to these "victims of the system," as Leah says in one of her lucid moments, these five who sit on their apartment walkway, drink, fight, mock and (between Jamie and Ste) fall in love. Although rooted in kitchen sink realism (the program comes complete with a slang glossary), Harvey balances the frightening abuse and familial love/hate with genuine tender sentiment and rapid comic pacing. This is a fairy tale, and we're glad for it. We want these people to make it, and if it seems all too unreal, we don't care. Dodd Bates' hang-dog expression with head crooked and shoulders hunched, embodies Jamie's wary world view and his yearning for "a quiet life." Full of old movies and a love of "Cagney and Lacy," he comes alive when Ste's around and makes that most awkward age of 16 believable. Gawky, yet assured oi wha t he wants, when Ste gives Dodd Bates and Laura Chapman in 'Beautiful Thing,' the theatrical take on a popular 1996 film. him a present of a baseball hat, Bates lights up like he's just been given keys to a Corvette. Almost too young looking, Laura Chapman convinces us she's Jamie's mother by the time she's finished speaking her second line. Hard-boiled as a five-minute egg, rattling off retorts to Leah or put-downs to Tony, or yelling at the unseen neighbors, Chapman's tough-love approach is played just right. She's one solid good-hearted mother and isn't about to lose her son. When she embraces him, she embraces us. Elizabeth Bannor plays Leah with the right amount of ditzy panache. She's a tramp, but she knows it. Her acid trip "acceptance speech" is theatrical, comical and over the top. Without the romp-in-the-woods love scene from the film version to help ease the transition, Ste's character in the play must go from confused young jock to young jock in love. Alfonso Chable handles this tricky part with assurance. His outburst at Jamie to learn how to "knock about" like a guy (which is really his own self-doubt showing through) is quite effective. Tim Wrobel, the misplaced Tony, is slightly too stolid for such an air head and hasn't quite managed the accent or attitude of these Southeast Londoners. He seems to have stumbled in from Staten Island. Filled with brittle humor, tangy one-liners, and seeming dead ends for all characters concerned, "Beautiful Thing" evolves into a sweet, most charming comedy. This piece of theater starts off being a slice of life but turns into a slice of cake. It's most satisfying. Or, should 1 say, it's bang on, bloke? Beautiful Thing The Little Room Downstairs Theater Through Dec. 12 2326 Bissonnet 713-523-0791 Selling your life insurance is a major decision. Shouldn't this option be discussed face-to-face? When you're gay, living with HIV ond thinking of selling your life insurance, shouldn't you be given a face-to-face consultation? Linked Viatical Benefits is proud to be the only gay owned and operated viatical broker with a local office in houston. We believe in providing you the personal attention you deserve and getting you the most money in the shortest time! Call 1-800-275-3090! LINKED VIATICAL BENEFITS Bienvenue Theatre presents Featuring: Andy Clements Kevin White Mikel Reaper and Christian DeVries CHRISTMAS PRESENT tW^ec/W /'// v //;'/.)//</// -J r" 7 rr?.) Opens Friday, December 3rd for 8 Performances Only* Fridays: Dec. 3,10 & 17 - 8:00pm Saturdays: Dec. 4,11 & 18 - 8:00pm Sundays: Dec. 5 & 12 - 6:00pm For Reservations call (713) 426-2626 BIENVENUE THEATRE 3722 Washington, Between Heights and Yale iV£Z> Adult content & Nudity
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