This Island's Mine | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

This Island's Mine 

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This Island's Mine, Red Kite Theatre at Organic Theater Company Greenhouse, South Hall. Written in the chamber-theater style, in which multiple narrators are constantly onstage, British playwright Philip Osment's densely textured 1987 work interweaves three fully fleshed plots filled with characters struggling to stay whole despite cynicism, racism, and homophobia. These intricately in-volved lives include a wide-eyed young gay man who seeks refuge with his homosexual uncle, a Jewish war refugee and her beloved cat, a young interracial gay couple fighting a hostile family, and a white lesbian couple with an intolerant son.

Furnishing enough exposition to fuel a soap's season, This Island's Mine is generous to the point of repletion. But channel switching with aplomb, Osment never loses our interest. Given the script's penchant for spelling out so much subtext, the performances might have dwindled into talking heads. But despite some shaky accents, the cast members perform their complex, multiple roles with assurance.

Kevin Fox plays the young Candide with fresh wonder, a comic contrast to the sexual insecurity of Thad Anzur's middle-aged uncle. As the black actor-lover, Tony Stovall connects his character with Caliban, a role that wryly comments on his place in England. Kirsten Fitzgerald ranges impressively from being the delicate eastern European survivor to mimicking her very macho cat.

Overall Robert Hatch's ensemble brings consummate clarity to a work that could easily have succumbed to its own abundance.

--Lawrence Bommer

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