The Boy In Black

By Tony MenesesThe Boy in Black by Tony Meneses

Directed by Emma Peterson

Produced by Chicago Fusion Theatre

At the Royal George Upstairs Theatre, Chicago

What color are you? That is the central question in the cute romantic drama

In playwright Tony Meneses’ world, everyone is in a shade of gray until they fall in love–then their color changes hue to green  (here for the lesbian couple) or pink for the Latin straight couple or blue for the white straight couple. The lonely gay boy who can’t stop falling for straight guys is dressed in black. There are a girl and a boy dressed in white who act as a Greek chorus and sounded like spokesmen for a late night TV ad for a meet-up site.

The Boy in Black by Tony Meneses

We meet Black (the charming David W. Mitchell) who is shy yet pinning for love and romance but he seems destined to fall for straight guys.  He is constantly stalked by the Girl in Gray (Natalie DiCristofano) who always shows up just when Black is trying to court  the Boy of Grey (Brandon M. Little).  Black awkwardly struggles with his loneliness. When he meets the Girl Who’s Broken (the quirky Kasis Januszewski), he takes her in to help her mend her broken heart.

Along the way, Black realizes that color or finding love is as much internal as external: that there are more ways to get color that just finding love. Loving and accepting yourself is a worthy, colorful love-so Black finds out

My problem with director Emma Peterson’s production, comes from the constant moving of furniture and props after the many short episodic scenes. The 90 minute show spends almost as much time changing the set as it does playing the script. The show over uses the color motif and it never fully resolves Black’s angst.   We learn to like and fully empathize with Black. We cheer for him to find his soul mate but we are disappointed at the show’s resolution. The promising, yet quirky,  play falls into a cliche-ridden ending that is both predictable and unsatisfying. David W. Mitchell and Kasis Januszewski gave winning performances.

Somewhat Recommended

Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: October 19, 2011

For more info checkout The Boy In Black page on www.theatreinchicago.com

At the Royal George Upstairs Studio Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted, Chicago, IL, 312-988-9000, tickets $25, www.chicagofusiontheatre.org, Wednesdays thru Saturdays at 8 pm, running time is 90 minutes with intermission, through November 12, 2011