Hope and change sure don’t come easy. Just ask circa 1706 Daniel Parke who served as British Governor of the Leeward Islands. Parke, a Virginian, was assigned this duty by Queen Anne herself and for God, country (and a lot for himself) became the victim of a citizen mutiny which cost him his live.
Parke’s reign of these islands and the uprising that culminated in his death is the subject of Sean Graney’s two person play Sugarward, which is receiving its world premiere staging at Side Project Theatre Company under the direction of Geoff Button.
Sugarward takes many justifiable liberties with the actual story and with its limited character structure, focuses itself on the notion of how one politician’s good intentions at the outset is corrupted by power, proving nothing has changed in three hundred years. John Henry Roberts (Parke) and Joel Ewing (in three different roles) have the task of making this dense script make sense, and for most of the time, they do succeed. Both actors have great on-stage chemistry and bat around the dialogue at a masterful pace. Mr. Button has chosen his actors well with each giving an exhausting performance of these manipulative characters.
Though Mr. Graney’s script could use some editing (especially halfway through the first act and a quarter of a way through the second) the bones of this piece are all there for taking, proving once again that he is one of the best new playwrights on the scene.
Sugarward runs through February 10, 2013 at the Side Project Theatre, 1439 W. Jarvis, Chicago. For tickets or more information please call 773-340-0140 or visit www.thesideproject.net. Tickets $20, $15 for seniors/students, Thursdays thru Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3pm. For calendar information visit www.theatreinchicago.com