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The Trib Thinks You're A Homophobic Imbecile

By Margaret Lyons in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 1, 2007 9:40PM to go to a play--but you don't know how? The Trib has you covered. This "Theater 101" article is full of such helpful tips as "If the show starts at 8:00, get there at 7:50." Honest to God, we can't tell if the item "Applause: When the play ends, there's a blackout, then the lights come back on and all the actors come on stage to take a bow. This is when you should clap" is meant as joke or what. We're just an unfrozen caveman lawyer, Tribune. Your idea about turning cell phones off frightens and confuses us.

That rampant stupidity is annoying enough, but then we get to the homophobia. Section Five is called "Theater Eye for the Straight Guy," (scroll down) because duh, theater is for the gays, and oh man, do you not want to do anything kinda gay, ha ha. The Trib has its panel of theater experts, critic Chris Jones, Deb Clapp, a former director of management at Goodman Theatre; and Nathan Allen, artistic director at The House Theater, suggest shows to four "real-live Chicagoland residents"--no gayness necessary! Hey, tow-truck driver, you're gonna love Jersey Boys. It's totally ungay. Also, two of the four people given show suggestions in this section are women.

This article really gets under our skin because there's actually a need for a good, smart version of this story. The Chicago theater world can and often does seem extremely insular, and the Trib reaches plenty of people who could use a hand bridging the gap. But rather than demonstrate that local theater fans are a welcoming group, or that any small theater company would effing kill to reach a new audience, this story figures that people who don't already go to shows have no idea when to clap or what an intermission is.

Cool shot from the LaSalle Bank Theater by 24gotham