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The Drunken City
The Drunken City
Illinois Central College Theatre Program
November 13-15 & 17-22

By Joanna Guevara


As you enter the quaint studio theatre of the Illinois Central College Performing Arts Center for the production of The Drunken City, you feel as if you are walking onto the set of your favorite show set in any city downtown. You are see skyscrapers and pathways. Signs are lit up all around, while a streetlamp stands off to the side, casting a beautiful evening glow. City lights dance around the set, creating a beautiful aesthetic to welcome the audience into the world of Adam Bock's The Drunken City.

The audience seemed excited for the show. Family and friends filled the room with laughter and discussion about the entertainment to come. As couples perused the program, and college friends shared stories of cast members, three girls walk in joking and arguing about their new engagements. The lights fade on the audience and highlight these women. The Drunken City story has begun.

The story starts out about three friends, Melissa, Marnie, and Linda, all of whom have just gotten engaged. The girls go into the city to celebrate Marnie's bachelorette party, and meet two guys, Eddie and Frank. In a rush of drunken decisions, Marnie and Frank leave the group together, causing Melissa and Linda to call their friend Bob to come help them find the new couple. The audience follows the long night of discovery that each character makes about love, relationships and where they fit in those worlds.

The show, while definitely made for an adult audience, was quick witted and emotionally stirring. I was impressed with the strength and cohesiveness of the cast. Small shows can be hard to put together, either with someone outshining the rest or one actor being the weakest within the group. The cast of The Drunken City did not suffer from any of these issues. Each character was genuine and the relationships between them seemed so real, the audience almost felt as if they were seeing a group of friends in real life, rather than watching a play. Melissa (Hannah Bruce) shared her broken heart. Marnie (Hannah Gidcumb) showed us what it means to love yourself. Linda (Gillian Strachan) sang a haunting tune of fear. Eddie (Nathan Apodaca) portrayed the difficulty in letting in love, while Frank (Frank Drew) showed what it was to fall in love too quickly and Bob (Alek President) signified loving to hard. Director Robin Berkley did well finding a cast that was able to portray true friendship and reflect the difficulties that come with discovering what love really means.

Not only was the acting spectacular, but the production value of this show was superb. Scenic designer Robert Fulton did well creating a space that gave off the feeling of a city, but allowed the audience to use their imaginations to create the best city for the show to speak to them. The lighting accentuated the beautiful set, and added a dimension of emotion that only aided the audience in their feelings towards the production. Even the preshow music helped set the mood and made me feel as if I was going to jump into the car and hit the town with my best friends.

The Drunken City is playing at Illinois Central College in East Peoria November 13-22, with shows Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30pm, a Sunday matinee at 2:30pm and no performance on Monday, November 16. The show is rated R for language and mature themes. Tickets are $7 for the general public, and $5 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ArtsAtICC.com or by calling the box office at (309) 694-5136. Seating is limited, so purchase your tickets in advance! Don't miss out on this fun and touching story of the changes in life with love and relationships. And remember, don't go into the city.

Posted on November 16, 2015