HIT THE WALL Remains A Performance Art Masterpiece
When Hit The Wall, Ike Holter’s performance art masterpiece about the Stonewall riots, first opened at the Steppenwolf Garage in 2012 and produced by The Inconvenience, it became the underground go-to show of season receiving almost universal critical accolades.
The show had an equally successful stint at New York’s Barrow Street Theater and now returns to Chicago with most of the original cast in tact.
Directed Eric Hoff and produced by the Chicago Commercial Collective, Hit The Wall is an amalgam of theatrical convention in a strikingly original format as we follow ten of New York City’s fringe through the lead up and aftermath of the Stonewall raid. Over the course of 90 minutes, Hit The Wall combines dance, music, poetry, movement and Meisner as each actor lives off the other; coming together and forming an intricate puzzle of truth. As a majority of these actors created the role which they inhabit, the sureness of the emotional power they were able to project was evident.
Hoff’s ability to immerse the audience into the moment is the key to Hit The Wall’s success. Moreover, his talented actors (Walter Briggs, Manny Buckley, Steve Casillas, Daniel Desmarasis, Desmond Gray, Sara Kerastas Steve Lenz, Layne Manzer Shannon Matesky and Mary Williamson) respect the material and more importantly respect the history in such a way that the visceral experience will leave you thanking these everyday individuals who created their own civil rights movement. It is a historically critical moment in time in which these ordinary men and woman moved a mountain which many now take for granted but it is in those unknown hero’s shoes we now proudly walk.
Hit The Wall plays through June 8, 2014 at the Greenhouse Theatre, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. For more information, including tickets visit greenhousetheater.org or call 773.404.7336. For calendar information visit theatreinchicago.org.