Chicago Theatre Review
Here's the Thing: Go See "The Kid Thing"
THE KID THING
Now through October 16th
Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8 PM
Sunday at 3 PM
Tickets $32, available at www.chicagodramatists.org
The clock is ticking at Chicago Dramatists. For one woman, it’s her maternal clock. For another, time is running out on her extracurricular secrets. At a dinner table for four, these women are catalyzed by the shocking news of their friends’ pregnancy announcement. In most other situations, the announcing couple would be overwhelmed by friends with rapture and party planning, but scene by scene, the relationships between these two lesbian couples are broken down and exposed.
Chicago Dramatists and About Face Theatre are collaborating for the first time to produce “The Kid Thing” by Sarah Gubbins. Even Steppenwolf had a hand in helping bring this story to the stage, proving that it can take a family of theaters
to raise a play. Gubbins is presenting a very specific issue in her play: lesbian couples who struggle with potential motherhood. KID confronts the problems with various adoption and surrogacy methods, which parent should carry the child, and also issues after a child’s birth, such as what each mother should be called. How does having one “mom” and one “mother” reflect on a child’s view of typical parent relationships? Outside of the issues same-sex couples have, the play discusses every woman’s concern with motherhood. Some women would rather live quietly with their partner, others practically hear the ticking clock when they pass by the baby food aisle.
Gubbins’s play is quick and so witty. There are several laugh-out-loud (or lol, as we say now) moments tied to extremely poignant thoughts. In its Chicago setting, it’s great to hear these women jive about the typical liberal lesbian’s addiction to Whole Foods fruits and Trader Joe’s trips. The scene-stealing Darcy (Kelli Simpkins) hits the nail on the head joke after joke. She is cutting, quick, and looks right at home wise-cracking with her friends in her man’s suit.
The Kid Thing exposes the real truth behind all relationships, and has intelligent thoughts to be understood for both straight and gay couples. The idea of perfection in love is foolish idealism. Life has too many curveballs to be able to run so simply. The only method of maintaining something close to perfection is being perfectly clear, openly transparent with a partner. Clarity is essential, and without it, misunderstandings divide a couple. Hoping, expecting, living on a prayer doesn’t create valuable results. Taking action for the tick ticking in your intuition does. But which action is the right one to take?