Adding Machine | Den Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Adding Machine Closing (Theater and Galleries) Recommended The Short List (Theater) Image

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through May 15 2016

Elmer Rice's 1923 play is a marvelous anomaly: an expressionist satire that makes Marxist points by seeming to scorn the masses. Its central shlub, Mr. Zero, is a clerk with a horrific wife who's spent his entire adult life adding columns of figures for a big company. Fired after 25 years, he goes berserk, kills the boss, gets executed, and moves on somehow to heaven, where he's even more lost. The tale has undergone all kinds of mutations over the years; in 2007 Jason Loewith and Joshua Schmidt premiered their musical version of it at Evanston's now-defunct Next Theatre. Directed by David Cromer, it was great. But this Hypocrites revival may be even better: lighter and deeper, less sentimental and more cruel. Well cast, and featuring near-perfect musical direction by Matt Deitchman, Geoff Button's staging uses comic repetition to get at the abject horror of Zero's life. What's more—and I mean this in the nicest possible way--Patrick Du Laney is a perfect Zero. —Tony Adler

Price: $36

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