Theatre in Review

Saturday, 04 February 2017 12:21

Enjoy Some "Bootcandy"! Featured

Written by
(L to R) Travis Turner, Osiris Khepara, Debrah Neal, and Krystel McNeil in “Bootycandy.” (L to R) Travis Turner, Osiris Khepara, Debrah Neal, and Krystel McNeil in “Bootycandy.”

Bootycandy is about Sutter, an African American gay man’s experience from adolescence to adulthood. The play touches on many different aspects and felt like several puzzle pieces coming together throughout its duration, each falling perfectly into place to create a path whereas the production is able to end on a high note that is sensible and believable. 

 

The play opens with Sutter, played by Travis Turner, asking his mother why she refers to his penis as a ‘bootycandy.’ The conversation that follows is comical and sets the tone for the rest of the play. 

 

One of the best scenes is performed by Osiris Khepera where he is a pastor at a church and talks about “they heard folk”, whispering why some of the choir folks smile at one another and why he personally hasn’t taken up a wife. Many of the sentiments in this scene touches on the perspective of the black community on homosexuality. At the end of the powerful sermon, he reveals something he has been hiding underneath his gown.  

 

A scene that was hilarious, but uncomfortable, was when Krystal McNeil and Debrah Neal played four different characters to talk about how someone in the community named their child Genitalia Lakeitha Shamala Abdul. Yes, Genitalia. Later in the play you see her as a lesbian having a ceremony to break up with her partner. 

 

The heart of the play centers on Sutter’s experience when he was in his teens at the library. A man had been following him and talking to him for quite some time and he decides to tell his mother and stepfather over dinner who barely looked up from his magazine. The experience for Sutter shows a dark side of him when he takes home a drunk, straight white male (Rob Fenton) with his friend. This was one of the hardest scenes to watch; it was dark, dramatic, and felt too real. 

 

Sutter’s character involves many layers. The play cuts to another scene right after to show Sutter visiting his grandmother in a nursing home. He decides to order some ribs for her on his iPhone. A more subdued Sutter who you can’t help but feel sorry for. 

  

The cast works extremely well together, Turner leading the way. Five actors in this winning play act as several different characters, each providing a strong performance. 

 

Catch Bootycandy, written and directed by Robert O’Hara, at Windy City Playhouse (3014 North Irving Park) through April 15th. Tickets range from $15-$55. The show does contain a scene with full-frontal nudity. Be sure to check out the catchy cocktails inspired by the play.  

 

Last modified on Thursday, 23 March 2017 00:47
Sara Hassan

"Living the dream and loving life."

 

 

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