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Boxed In: Cheek By Jowl’s “The Winter’s Tale”

Working from home had drained Gwen more than she expected. She had always been comfortable on her own, without having a supervisor or manager peering over her shoulder as she worked. Had someone asked her, a month ago, if she’d prefer to work in the comfort of her home, she’d have leapt at the opportunity.

But “comfort” wasn’t what the home felt like to Gwen. Despite making sure she took walks outside regularly (at Eleanor’s urging), their small apartment was feeling more claustrophobic by the hour––to say nothing of Gwen’s preferred kind of social interaction: the collective anonymity provided by the dark blanket of a theatre audience. Now, to Gwen’s distress, both the audiences and the stages of Chicago were shrouded in darkness, and would be for some time.

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Our Gay Apparel: Gerri Hill’s “Chasing A Brighter Blue”

The book had been sitting, unremarkable, on the coffee table in their living room when Gwen finally took the moment necessary to question the cover image.

“Is that a deer in a Santa hat?”

Picking up the book, the clearly photoshopped cover for Chasing A Brighter Blue had a quaint, algorithm-designed draw to it. Gwen could tell at a glance that this book would contain not a trace of deer wearing Santa hats – perhaps it would contain no deer at all.

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Shake The World: Jon M Chu’s “Crazy Rich Asians”

“I love this!” Dania said, pointing at the kaleidoscopic credits sequence that twirled across the screen. “All the animated stuff in the movie was really good.”

“Was there a lot of animated stuff?” Gwen asked.

“The phone sequence!” Eleanor said. “With everyone sending texts about Rachel. That was filmed fantastically. Such a good use of the medium. And the cut back to Rachel and Nick in the bar is perfect!

“Oh, that’s how you spell Awkwafina,” Dania said, as the actress’ name flashed onto the screen.

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Under The Covers: Ella Quinn’s “The Marquis And I”

The previous week’s viewing of Pride and Prejudice had left Dania longing for the romances. While she had appreciated hearing Eleanor and Gwen argue with Ellen about the film, she herself had found the film perfectly adequate. What it had stirred up in her, however, was a renewed desire to be lost in the rush, the sweep, the passions of a fantasy romance. The kind she had felt as a child, watching movies and not knowing that the female and male leads would always end up betrothed at the end.

All these thoughts swirled around her head as she entered the Barbara’s Bookstore in O’Hare Airport, on her way back home for a wedding. Love was in bloom, she thought, and perhaps if she could find a book to distract her from this during the flight ––

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