Culture Magazine

Review: Ironmistress (Oracle Theatre)

By Chicagotheaterbeat @chitheaterbeat

Review: Ironmistress (Oracle Theatre)   
  
Ironmistress

Written by April De Angelis  
Directed by Karen Yates
Oracle Theatre, 3809 N. Broadway (map)
thru Feb 11  |   free w/ reservation  |  more info
  
Check for half-price tickets 
  
  
   Read entire review
  


     

     

‘Ironmistress’ is a machine!

     

Review: Ironmistress (Oracle Theatre)

  

Oracle Theatre presents

  

Ironmistress

Review by Katy Walsh 

I’m just a love machine
So give me motivation
I’m just a love machine

   -Artic Monkeys

Love machine.  Sex machine.  These are today’s positive terms to describe optimal performance.  The *machine* is a person who goes beyond human levels to exceed expectations.  But, machines can also mean a mechanism that operates without feeling.  

Review: Ironmistress (Oracle Theatre)
Oracle Productions presents Ironmistress.  On the eve of her daughter’s wedding, a mother shares her perspective on a woman’s role.  It’s not the-birds-and-the-bees chat. It’s the let-me-help-you-on-with-your-shackles talk.  Mom is a widow in 1840’s England.  She has learned how to survive during the industrial revolution. She masks emotion behind an iron constitution.  And she has raised her daughter to know her place as a little cog.  It’s the play “Spring Awakenings” taking place in Chaplin’s movie “Modern Times” with hints of Madonna’s “Express Yourself” music video.  Ironmistress welds together a solid encasement to preserve the tender remains of being a woman. 

Playwright April De Angelis has penned the harsh realities of female inequality.  De Angelis fuses together multiple tales of male domination.  To soften the severity of the stories, De Angelis uses verse and dark humor.  Under the masterful direction of Karen Yates, the two member cast is outstanding.  Katherine Keberlein (mom) is the iron lady.  Keberlein addresses her dead husband with bitter sarcasm and her daughter with hard-hearted sensibilities. A cold-blooded Keberlein effectively showcases glimpses of heart-wrenching vulnerability.  Her daughter, Sarah Goeden, is a bouncing bundle of youthful innocence.  Goeden’s big eye wonderment is playful then disturbing as she steps into womanhood.  Her ‘I must work right‘ statement haunts me…still. Powerful! Goeden beautifully sings her pretend fantasy.  Together, Keberlein and Goeden bond poignantly like war buddies.  Sometimes, they want to swap stories.  And sometimes, they just want to suppress, drink tea and escape.  

Costume Designer Darcy Elora Hofer adds to the story with her own visual imagery.  Hofer dresses the cast in *contraptions.*  Part Victorian corset and part workhorse harness, these imaginative outfits look uncomfortably constraining.  And Goeden looks realistically unhappy to put it on.  The amusing element for me is there is a third part, dominatrix.  It’s the slightest hint that the sexual revolution will free women to be less inhibited.  But for Ironmistress, there is nothing repressed about this play.  De Angelis, Yates, Kaberlein, Goeden and Hofer work as a single-engine, feeling-injected sisterhood.  Ironmistress is a machine! 

  

Rating: ★★★★

  

  

Ironmistress continues through February 11th at 3809 N. Broadway (map), with performances Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays at 8pm, Sundays at 7pm.  Tickets are free, but to assure a seat, reservations can be made at oracletheatre.org. (Running time: 75 minutes with no intermission)

Review: Ironmistress (Oracle Theatre)

All photos by Ben Fuchsen


     


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Skinny Creamy Italian Vanilla Gelato / Fior Di Latte Gelato - Made with Minimal...

    Skinny Creamy Italian Vanilla Gelato Fior Latte Made with Minimal Sugar Cream

    version; Today, I will be sharing a fantastic gelato recipe!Is gelato the same as ice cream?Although gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, both are... Read more

    The 21 October 2018 by   Zoebakeforhappykids
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • How To Make Your Boyfriend Give You Money Without Asking Him

    Money has always been a sensitive issue in a relationship. Women like it when their boyfriend pays for dinner, movie ticket, and other dating expenses. Read more

    The 21 October 2018 by   Naijapary
    SOCIETY, A-CLASSER
  • Discover the Nature and Beauty of the High Mountain Environments in the Valle...

    Discover Nature Beauty High Mountain Environments Valle d'Aosta.

    Aosta Valley is the smallest region in Italy; in its northwest, it is located between France and Switzerland. At its core are its majestic peaks (the region... Read more

    The 21 October 2018 by   Hugor
    DESTINATIONS
  • The Autumn 100 - My Ultra Comeback

    I thought I made pretty good time getting to the turnaround point. Now I was pleased it was downhill all the way to Goring, except there still seemed to be load... Read more

    The 21 October 2018 by   Jamesrichardadams
    FITNESS, OTHER SPORTS, SPORTS
  • When You Should Come In To Net

    When Should Come

    One of the main goals in doubles tennis is to take the net, as it decreases the likelihood of hitting the ball into the net and gives you better angles to put... Read more

    The 21 October 2018 by   Jen Campbell
  • …Root, Root, Root

    …Root, Root, Root

    As the end of October comes into view so too does the beginning of the 2018 World Series. This year sees the Boston Red Sox take on the LA Dodgers in a battle o... Read more

    The 21 October 2018 by   Zer
    SELF EXPRESSION
  • Loneliness Limited

    Loneliness Limited

    Is anyone here a fan of the writings of the American author Kurt Vonnegut? He was quite fashionable in the 1960s and early 1970s but I think his cachet is not... Read more

    The 21 October 2018 by   Ashleylister
    BOOKS, CREATIVITY, CULTURE, SELF EXPRESSION