Seeing the world through dark glasses

 

'I Hate It Here' live online at Goodman theatre. (Photo by Flint Chaney)
‘I Hate It Here’ live online at Goodman theatre. (Photo by Flint Chaney)

2 stars

If someone you know or maybe even an anonymous someone on Facebook asks how are you coping with COVID, what do you say?  In “I Hate it Here,” a live streaming Goodman Theatre play by Ike Holter, actors representing different economic strata, backgrounds and race spew out their negative views of the world, often on top of each other’s thoughts.

Yes, we all often do talk at the same time. Fortunately, if you want to know what they said, there are subtitles because much of the spoken dialogue tumbles out like rushing water.

What in the first few of a dozen segments of complaints about people’s rudeness and empty or uncaring attitudes come across as brilliant in an “I’ can’t take it anymore” framework yelled from a window, merely becomes noise. As meaningful as the complaints are, and as good as the acting is,  the diatribe starts to sound like a broken record.

The exception was a verbal slow-down of a poignant dialogue between a white nurse and an injured black man who told her she could have said. “stop,” when she saw him attacked.

The pandemic’s lockdowns, mask wearing mandates and deaths of loved ones all coming on top of already existing societal evils have twisted our universe.

Hearing about societal problems in a play has historically been thought provoking and even led to change. But to accomplish that audiences, and later on, readers, need more contrasting elements and character depth than found in “I Hate It Here. The title sounds like a teenager’s slamming a bedroom or front door.

“I Hate It Here” streams live July 15-18, 2021. It is the third play of a live online trilogy presented by Goodman Theatre that began with ‘The Sound Inside,” May 13 16, followed by “Ohio State Murders”  June 17-20.  Individual tickets are $30. The trilogy was $60.

For tickets and other information visit Goodman Theatre/Here.

For more shows visit Theatre in Chicago

Related: ‘The Sound Inside

Jodie Jacobs

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