‘Hit the Wall’ Takes a Swing at the 1969 Stonewall Riots

The cast of "Hit the Wall." (photo: Matt Murphy)

The cast of “Hit the Wall.” (photo: Matt Murphy)

The producers of Hit the Wall, a new play by Ike Holter, would like you to believe that that there is a revolution happening at the Barrow Street Theatre. Unfortunately, this mosaic of fictional characters that portrays the famous Stonewall Riots of 1969 lands with a thud more than a punch.

The play originated as part of Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s Garage Rep, an initiative created to mentor smaller theater companies. But what this play desperately needs is a dramaturg. Holter’s script presents a handful of generic archetypes: The snappy Latino, the Drag Queen and the Newbie, among others. The fact that he gives some of them names feels almost incidental. The dialogue jarringly moves from conversational to beatnik poetry to past tense narrative, never quite sitting in one milieu long enough to gain any momentum.

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