The Lisbon Traviata | Athenaeum Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Lisbon Traviata Recommended The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Tuesdays, Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through Dec. 13 2015

The Queer Encyclopedia of Music, Dance & Musical Theater (Cleis Press, 2004) defines "opera queen" as "a fan notable for his fetishistic, indeed perhaps obsessive, knowledge of opera plots, productions, and recordings, along with an equally extensive lore of gossip and speculation about the scandals, rivalries, romances, breakdowns, and triumphs in the personal lives of operatic divas." Terrence McNally's 1989 tragicomedy The Lisbon Traviata focuses on two such opera queens, Stephen and Mendy—affluent, white, middle-aged New York culture vultures, with apartments in Manhattan, homes in the country, and summer cottages on Fire Island. Mendy—manic and effeminate—lives alone, and is apparently celibate, though not by choice. The more reserved, more "normal"-seeming, but equally neurotic Stephen has a lover named Mike—though the eight-year relationship seems to be unraveling. On the rainy night in 1989 on which the play takes place, Stephen is spending the evening at Mendy's listening to music, but his thoughts keep drifting anxiously back to Mike, who is having a date with a younger man, Paul. Stephen is trying to accept the idea of a nonmonogamous "agreement" as the solution to his and Mike's problems, but fears that Paul might turn out to be more than just a casual trick. Continue reading >>

Price: $30, $20 students and seniors


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