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  Some Men at Rivendell Theatre

Some Men

Rivendell Theatre
5775 N. Ridge Avenue Chicago

Some Men is Tony Award-winner Terrence McNally at his best. Alternately hilarious, painful, and sexy, Some Men presents a kaleidoscope of gay characters set within some of the events that bent the arc of gay history in America. Our cast will play over three dozen characters whose stories parallel, and whose histories are linked. Scenes are set in 1969 during Stonewall, in St. Vincent's at the height of AIDS, and on a beach in the Hamptons in the 1920s and again 70 years later. There is also a scene set in an AOL chat room, another in a bathhouse, and many other locations which provide the texture to our lives. The play begins and ends with a contemporary gay wedding, relating interconnecting stories of generations of gay men in New York City.

Presented by Pride Films and Plays

Thru - Sep 14, 2014

Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 7:30pm
Saturdays: 7:30pm
Sundays: 6:00pm

Price: $15-$30

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Running Time: 2hrs, 20mins; one intermission

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  Some Men Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...A 1998 scene where two self-righteous queer-studies scholars (Sam Button-Harrison and Jeremy Sonkin) interrogate Aaron and his longtime companion, Scoop (a delightfully fey Patrick Rybarczyk) tends to caricature the younger breed of activists. But it also makes a quiet case for those older gay men who accepted the challenges and sacrifices of building a life together in a world where acting on one's love and passion for another man was its own revolutionary act. Like the discovery of a faded news clipping about an ancestor's forgotten act of heroism, "Some Men" frequently shines a warm, funny spotlight on the many ways gay men have found to keep that revolutionary flame going."
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Kerry Reid

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...Ten actors playing 55 characters over a timeline spanning 90 years could easily dissolve into chaos in a matter of minutes, but under the co-direction of David Zak and Derek Van Barham, the characters remain distinct and assemblages never become a faceless swarm. ( McNally is smart enough to have his personnel address each other by name at the top of every new episode, and to include in his cast a pianist to provide tunes to establish the individual locales. ) If the results are more pageant than play-a wedding kiss draws applause from not just the onstage guests, but the audience as well-McNally's photo album attests to the diversity of the gay experience while celebrating its progress."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...In a few moments where the whirlwind, encyclopedic pace slows down, like in celebratory piano bar scenes, or one between an escort (Ben Burke) and a john (Edward Fraim), we get a little closer to the joyful discovery and intimacy McNally is trying to muster. Likewise, another scene with Burke as a group therapist puts forward enough material for its own show. Over the course of many decades and 36 or so characters, though, those emotions are muddled out by noise."
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Dan Jakes

ShowBizChicago - Highly Recommended

"...Through a series of vignettes pulled from historical and pivotal moments of gay history in the U.S., we relive the emotions of each era- from the underground bars of the pre-Stonewall era through the early AIDS crisis and beyond to today. Story telling and song are interspersed (along with some full frontal male nudity…YES!) with camp and comedy. McNally’s script had me laughing aloud one moment and crying the next."
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William Pierson

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...You could call it an action meditation on marriage. As if to sum up his own theatrical legacy, as well as 70 years of gay life and love, Terrence McNally's valedictory drama Some Men is a collage that merrily defies chronology. The reason: To prevent us from confusing the challenges of change with the inevitability of progress. In 135 minutes, this play (which premiered Off-Broadway in 2007) delivers a scatter-shot assemblage of snapshot vignettes stretching from a mogul-chauffeur's commercial romance in 1922 to a bona fide gay marriage in 2014. If you don't see yourself or friends in one scene, there are 14 more to generate that shock of recognition."
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Lawrence Bommer

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...The key moments, turning points and advances of gay life are effectively presented by the cast of ten actors. Robert Ayres, David Besky, Ben Burke, Sam Button-Harrison, Tom Chiola, Edward Fraim, Jude Hansen, Nelson Rodriguez, Patrick Rybarczyk and Jermy Sonkin each had their time to shine in this fast paced and most engaging drama. It takes a writer like McNally and directors like Zak and Van Barham to make a series of scenes work to produce a glimpse into the history of gay life in America. We empathize, we understand, and we relate to their struggles, fears and apprehensions. This play can help young closeted gay men decide when and if to come out as it vividly dramatizes the nature of being gay today. As a work of theatre, Some Men is funny, honest and poignant and entertaining. It is well acted by a dedicated cast."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Recommended

"...Some Men is a once too ambitious and too unassuming to be a great play. It is not quite successful as drama or historical chronicle, but it is a gentle reminder that people weave the fabric of history and are bound to it. McNally knows how to create memorable characters and lines, and there are unforgettable moments in his montage. The cast and crew of Pride Films and Plays have put together a loving and reverent Chicago premiere that ensures that McNally’s words achieve their full power."

Kerstin Broockmann

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...fortunately, superb direction by David Zak and Derick Van Barham, as well excellent acting bring by the entire cast, bring out what is great about Terence McNally’s script. Although the first and last scene is a gay wedding, the play largely starts emotionally and narratively with the private lives of gay men and the pain they experience in their relationships: both with straight society and each-other."
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Lawrence Riordan

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...McNally’s play is beautifully told, well-written, thought-provoking and highly entertaining. His cast of characters and their stories form an historical panorama of the gay American experience. As the audience watches these characters grow and develop before their eyes, the sights and sounds of each bygone era will spark memories for audiences who’ve lived through these years and educate those who have only a passing recollection of AIDS, Stonewall, bath houses and chat rooms. While this play may seem to appeal to a limited population it’s really a well-produced adult production that begs to be seen by everyone."
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Colin Douglas

  Some Men Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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