We are sitting around a dining room table recently set for a dinner party.
The hosts Michael and Debora (played by Paul Fagen and Tosha Fowler) are superb as the mourning parents awaiting their dinner guests Bill, Tamara, and Curtis (played by Tony Bozzuto, Asia Jackson, and Matthew Elam)
A year earlier a tragedy had taken place when Michael and Deborah’s teen-aged son commits suicide after being tormented by classmate Curtis. Both parties had agreed to the dinner as a way to clear the air.
We acutely feel the painful uncomfortableness unfolding on stage---in no small part due to the quality of the acting.
For the next 75 minutes, we are mesmerized as civility turns into chaos and blame.
Each person aggressively argues their own viewpoint and defends their version of why the suicide occurred. Is there really anything that Curtis can say or do to make amends?The grieving parents— rather than admit that they were clueless about who their son really was— in a pathetic attempt, share with their guests' several merit awards and a few pictures of their son. It is all they have to show for their son’s brief life.
The backstory of Late Company is the devastating effects of bullying on a teenager and the ripple effects it has not only their family but the community at large. Though we never meet him, we get to know this troubled teen with distant parents, how he feels alienated by his peers, and the consequences of how he is exploring his sexuality.
Cor Theater meets its mission
Late Company addresses these critical issues with a genuine realness. This writer was deeply moved and thinks you likely will be as well.
Cor Theater’s mission “is to explore the inner truth of the human experience, through storytelling that defies convention. We engage audiences by telling stories that take courage to tell.”
Director Jessica Fisch lives up to the Cor mission in her direction of their current production of Late Company.
Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO, where it will remain until the end of the run. Click here to read — Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.
Note: an excerpt of this review can be found in Theater in Chicago.
June 17 – July 16
The Buena at Pride Arts Center
4147 N. Broadway St. Chicago
General Admission $30
For tickets visit www.cortheater.org
Note: An excerpt of this review appears in Theater in Chicago
About the Author:
Steven Braun, Volunteer Engagement Committee Leader and Volunteer Trainer at Center on Halsted was born and raised suburbanite, now 30 years Chicago urbanite. Steve is a real estate entrepreneur and germane to these pages, also a member of, advocate for, and friend to the LGBTQ Community. When not volunteering, writing, or at the gym, Steve can be found watching "House Hunters."