By Jason Berger
The Goodman's revival of Eugene O'Neill's AH, WILDERNESS has been warmly received by audiences and critics alike. The familiar story, set on Independence day in 1906, is considered by many to be timeless. However, despite the impeccable designs and wonderful, diverse casting, one can find very little reason to present this script in 2017.
While it is invigorating to see performers of color in roles that have been played a million times by white performers, that is simply not enough to justify the production. Stand-outs include Ora Jones and Randall Newsome, who have irresistible chemistry, as well as Amanda Drinkall and Ayssette Munoz who shine in their singular scenes. Larry Bates also excels as Sid, the source for the majority of the production's humor. The designs are all astounding, and director Steve Scott knows how to stage a pretty picture. It's a shame that he didn't do more to make the play feel more relevant.
Presented June 26-July 23 by the Goodman Theatre in the Albert Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, Chicago.
Tickets are available in person at the box office, by calling them at 312-443-4800 or by going to www.GoodmanTheatre.org/AhWilderness.
The Hawk was a common name for the cold, winter wind in Chicago, possibly even predating "the Windy City." Additionally, a hawk can see up to eight times more clearly than the human eye.