Journalists duel in Stoppard’s ‘Night and Day’ at Remy Bummpo TheaterNovember 9th, 2010
For Remy Bumppo fans this can be seen as a bit of a sad season. It is the last season for co-founding, artistic director James Bohnen. But what a way to go! Bohnen’s Night and Day by Tom Stoppard, currently up through November 14th, is outstanding.
Night and Day is a passionate and funny look at the free press and how the truth can be sliced and diced and manipulated from all sides. Two competing journalists, a bright eyed and optimistic Jacob Milne and a jaded and anti-establishment Dick Wagner, battle it out for the lead story in a fictitious war-torn African country and tussle similarly for the affections of a bored, slick tongued rich housewife-turned-temptress, Ruth, played by Linda Gillum. While the characters rumble through the often tongue-in-check Stoppard banter, it is really the free press that is the protagonist in this sadly ever-timely play.
Gillum is an outstanding force to be reckoned with and does a tremendous job with Stoppard’s quick –witted and often, intense dialogue . The play is intellectually challenging and incites a conversation between the heart and head of why are we engaging in war. Really, what’s it all for? And can its truth ever really be told?
Shawn Douglass, who plays hardened, whiskey-pounding, journalist Dick Wagner, is also incredible, giving the show everything he’s got. Douglas is gearing up as director for Remy Bumppo’s next play, Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Steve Spencer is playing Dick Wagner through the play’s extension.
Catch this final season by director James Bohnen, and give yourself the treat of great acting and stirring your own philosophical debate about the role of the press and the horrors of war, all rolled into an entertaining and humorous repartee of larger than life characters.
Extended through November 14.
Elysabeth Alfano is the Creator, Executive Producer and Host Of Fear No ART Chicago on WTTW and on the web.