Spotlight: The Pride

Pillsbury House Theatre

Michal Daniel

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The Pride
Pillsbury House Theatre

In The Pride, Alexi Kaye Campbell's look at gay life in two distinct eras, the characters share names and even some superficial characteristics, but their experiences couldn't be more different. In one timeline, it is 1958 in London, and the attraction felt by Oliver and Philip is forbidden by society and driven even deeper underground by one character's marriage. Here our focus is on Philip, whose marriage and job don't provide much satisfaction, but his passions for Oliver don't provide much comfort either. In 2008, they play out a different kind of story. Their relationship is no longer driven underground, but you can still feel the relics of that past time in their lives. Now we focus on Oliver, who has just been left alone after Philip ends their year-and-a-half-old relationship. The crux is, again, betrayal. This time, it is Oliver's love of anonymous sex that drives the story. The main problem is that the 1958 story carries a much stronger impact than the modern-day story. The stakes for Oliver and Philip are so much greater in the past, with the consequences—including a dubious "therapy"—much greater in the end. I understand where Campbell is coming from, as much of the stigma over gay relationships has faded as they have moved into the open, but it doesn't make for the best drama. The main trio of actors—Clarence Wethern as Oliver, Matt Guidry as Philip, and Tracey Maloney as Sylvia—relish the depth of the past characters and make those moments the very best of the show. $15-$25. 3501 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.825.0459. Through October 16 —Ed Huyck

 
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