” It caused quite a sniff when my stuff, reeking with indiscretion, appeared”
The Chicago Tribune’s Madame X, society doyenne Caroline Kirkland
(1865-1930) declared Robert Allerton (1873 – 1964) Chicago’s most
eligible bachelor in 1906. His personal relationship with Caroline
Kirkland, both in high society and everyday life, and his intimate
relationship with John Wyatt Gregg Allerton (1899-1986), his longtime
companion, adopted-as-an- adult son, are best imagined by inventing what
their correspondence might have been. Bridging two centuries, what words might have passed between these three brightly shining stars that shaped the course of art, landscape architecture, the future of celebrity journalism and LGBTQ issues that were only imagined in the early 20th century. An epistolary intrigue of historical truth and fiction
for two men and one woman.
MX’sA had its first flirtation with the public on November 28, 2018 at the Vermont Studio Center’s RedMill DiningRoom presentation series with a reading of excerpts from its opening letters and feature stories. Mary Clark played Madame X/Caroline Kirkland and ptmc played Robert Allerton. Another reading at VSC, of opera box scene & closing took place on Dec. 21. Complete readings of finished script took place at Waukesha Civic Theatre [WIS] with Sharon Sohner as Madame X, Tom Briggs as John Gregg, and ptmc as Robert Allerton on Dec. 26, and Dec 30 at EastPoint Commons, Milwaukee with Donna Lobacz as Madame X, Don Lobacz as John Gregg & ptmc as Robert Allerton, and Mae Haskins, Steppenwolf, as adjudicator.
Now retitled REEKING of INDISCRETION: Madame X’s Allerton was completed
at VSC in December 2018 & also features John Gregg, drafted at 18
then returning from World War I to enroll as a student of architecture
at the University of Illinois. The orphan John G. is paired with the
childless Robert at a fraternity Father-Son luncheon in 1922, and a
lifetime relationship begins. Madame X who claimed to be “reeking with
indiscretion” for her society column in the Chicago Tribune, becomes part of
a “triangulate” with her running commentary on Robert Allerton’s life
and his relationship with John G.
The FringeNYC BYOV October 2019 run at CHAIN Studio Theatre in Midtown Manhattan provided these images on YouTube…
ZOOM on Facebook Live on May 24, 2020 provided these images on Vimeo…
Companion piece to VARIED LIVES