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  The Temperamentals at Theater Wit

The Temperamentals

Theater Wit
1229 W Belmont Ave Chicago

THE TEMPERAMENTALS chronicles the founding of the Mattachine Society, the first sustained LGBT rights organization in the U.S., and the love affair of two of its founding members, Harry Hay and emigree Rudi Gernreich. Taking its title from 1950's slang for "homosexual," Maran's play examines what it took to stand up in the sea of grey flannel suits and demand your humanity, your visibility and your rights.

Thru - Feb 18, 2017

Price: $20-$40

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-975-8150

  The Temperamentals Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...I very much like Marans' smart, stylish and often funny play, which did well in New York about five years ago (the commercial producers used the savvy tagline, "'Mad Men' meets 'Milk'") but has not been seen in Chicago until this new production at About Face Theatre. I feel similarly about director Andrew Volkoff's heartfelt and well-paced production, which is stocked with a formidable cast and is, all in all, the best-acted play at About Face in some years. This cast is formed of fine Chicago actors - Rob Lindley, Alex Weisman, Kyle Hatley, Paul Fagen, Lane Anthony Flores - who do not mess around and who do not typically perform in plays not worth doing."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Though Mattachine eventually splintered along lines of ideology (radical versus moderate) and purpose (activist versus social), it fostered a loose-knit regional network of "homophile" groups that paved the way for the Gay Liberation movement of the 1970s and today's LGBTQ rights movement. Director Andrew Volkoff's superb cast includes Kyle Hatley as the sometimes abrasive Hay, Lane Anthony Flores as the sly and elegant Gernreich, and Paul Fagen, Rob Lindley, and Alex Weisman in multiple supporting roles."
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Albert Williams

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...Marans makes no attempt to disguise the tactical similarities of this pioneering gay-rights movement to those of its leftist predecessors—indeed, at one point, the five conspirators invoke Tom Joad's famous speech from The Grapes of Wrath—while in no way diminishing its significance, nor does About Face director Andrew Volkoff trivialize the emotional journey of Hay and Gernreich or the difficult decisions that ultimately drive them apart. The five actors—Kyle Hatley, Lane Anthony Flores, Alex Weisman, Rob Lindley and Paul Fagen—likewise endow each of their multiple characters with dignity and compassion, even during moments of wry humor. The accuracy of their portrayals is confirmed by reports of former Mattachine adherents ( and, now, residents of the Town Hall Apartments ) in attendance."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Theatre By Numbers - Recommended

"...Though “The Tempermentals” does not tell the richest possible story about the Mattachine Society, it is clear that a lot of care and work went into About Face’s production. It is definitely worth a viewing, at the very least to get acquainted with forgotten men and fights that continue on to today."
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Christopher Kidder-Mostrom

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...The Temperamentals, Jon Marans' 2012 depiction of the homosexual group's rise and fall, takes its name from a not-so-pleasant term for "queers." For better or worse, that allusion to fanciful flightiness fits what we see and feel as a Chicago premiere by About Face Theatre puts us present at the creation and dutifully celebrates this seminal "origins tale": At its flamboyant finest Mattachine was essentially a prolonged demonstration against discrimination."
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Lawrence Bommer

ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...As a play, playwright Jon Marans nicely mixes the traits of his characters, especially the love affair between Rudi and Harry with the struggles to organize and sustain a rights movement. We see the key characters (based on actual historical figures) as the try to balance their rights struggle with their need to survive in a hostile society. Filled with truthful, often funny and heartwarming performances, The Temperamentals is a worthy play with a terrific cast. I particularly admired the work by Kyle Hatley as the intense zealot and Lane Anthony Flores as the loyal, charming designer. The Temperamentals is an important work that plays as engaging theatre."
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Tom Williams

Around The Town Chicago - Recommended

"...About Face Theatre’s new production of “The Temperamentals” is an intense docudrama about the founding of the Mattachine Society, one of the earliest LBGT organizations in America. Five talented actors play real men, who came out of the closet at a time when society was hostile to homosexuals. Jon Marans has written an intelligent but unemotional script, about five brave people."
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Carol Moore

Chicago Theatre Review - Recommended

"...What’s hidden beneath those conservative suits and the carefully guarded demeanor is an alternative life style into which, despite the accepted belief during the 40’s and 50’s, these real life men were born. They didn’t choose to be gay; it was part of their genetic makeup, although science wouldn’t corroborate this theory for years to come. Instead they found that they had to hide who they were, prompting the formation of groups like the Mattachine Society. Seeking to protect and improve the rights of homosexual men, this forerunner to all other contemporary LGBT organizations is shown here in its infancy as the first major effort to support those men who were sadly nicknamed the Temperamentals."
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Colin Douglas

The Fourth Walsh - Highly Recommended

"...I didn't know this was a true story until the epilogue. Marans pays homage to these LGBTQ pioneers by revealing their bittersweet fates. Since we are fully invested in these fellas through this ensemble, the ending is even more unforgettable. I highly recommend THE TEMPERAMENTALS. Although I would have enjoyed it during the Obama administration, its even more poignant in these dark days of Trump."
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Katy Walsh

Picture This Post - Highly Recommended

"...It is an emotional roller coaster. We, the audience are forced to realize how little has changed since the 1950s, and how much more work needs to be done."
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Alexis Bugajski

  The Temperamentals 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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