With the universal popularity of Bridget Jones Diary, over a decade ago, in both the UK and US, a story about a young woman, searching for love, fulfillment, and most of all, happiness, in the modern age, still resonates today. Now comes British playwright Lucinda Coxon's "Happy Now," a Shattered Globe production. A rich gem, that's become loved by London audiences for its humor and honesty, now graces Stage 773, in Chicago.
We see ourselves in Kitty (Christina Gorman), a contemporary woman who apparently has it all- husband, family, career - and yet finds herself yearning for a fairy tale 'happily ever after,' and constantly pondering, 'is this it?' She seeks, as we all do, the ultimate goal - 100% happiness- and questions her current existence, job, husband, and her many imperfections. The fireworks begin when she happens upon a complete stranger at a cancer charity conference, Michael (Ben Werling), who takes a sudden interest through charm and quite forward flirtation. Thrown into the mix are Kitty and her husband Johnny's (Steve Peebles)' band of slightly eccentric friends, including hard-drinking Miles (Drew Schad), who ends up crashing on their couch, when thrown out by wife Bea (Cortney McKenna). Can Kitty come to terms with life as she knows it, and find her secure place in the world, and be "happy now?" The show's title really says it all. It's a true statement of the human condition and psyche- can one ever be totally happy in the moment, or always search for more...
This theatrical presentation, a mix of both comedy and drama, is so meaningful and profound, as it deals with the serious and poignant issue of finding happiness. Playwright Lucinda Coxon, relatively unknown to American theatre audiences, yet quite familiar and established on the London stage, brings her characters' personal dilemmas to life as they evolve, in an intimate, revealing setting. When Kitty digs deep into her own predicament, and shares a full gamut of emotions, the result is phenomenal. Just as clouds have their silver lining, and clowns can even have a dark side, "Happy Now" presents the elusive search for happiness and inner peace, in a soul searching way, truly resonating with the audience.
Whether happiness is a "warm gun,' as according to John Lennon; or a "warm puppy," as according to Charles Schulz, "Happy Now" is just the ticket... the lighter side of enlightenment, with original material, uplifting and fresh.
Through March 2nd Thursday through Saturday 8PM; Saturday and Sunday 3 PM
Stage 773 1225 W. Belmont
(773) 327-5252 www.stage773.com