The Last Sunday in June | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Last Sunday in June 

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THE LAST SUNDAY IN JUNE, Bailiwick Repertory. In this comedy Jonathan Tolins pokes gentle fun at the cliches of gay plays: men gather for some event in an apartment or beach house, where they banter, bicker, and whine. Then a shirtless--or naked--character drops by, someone has sex, and somebody dies. The Last Sunday in June features gay men in a New York flat during the pride parade--but Tolins also questions the very real problems of the gay community: negative body image, frivolity, rampant infidelity, and an overall lack of support for long-term relationships.

Jay Paul Skelton's tight ensemble adeptly shifts between fizzy repartee and impassioned argument on the nature of gay cultural and emotional life. The relationship between Michael and Tom (Jeremy Hodges and Stephen Rader), who've been together for seven years and are now buying a house in the suburbs, will be familiar--and troubling--to anyone who's ever tried to negotiate his or her own needs while in a partnership. Everyone's assumptions are shaken when one of Tom's friends discloses that he's leaving the gay world to marry. Playing his fiancee, Sarah Hayes provides a crucial perspective: she's someone who understands and loves gay men and enables them to be themselves in a way that their community often does not.

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