After the Fall | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

After the Fall


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


After the Fall, Artistic Home. Arthur Miller's sprawling, self-serving 1964 autobiographical play casts the author as Quentin, a guilt-ridden defense attorney dealing with the stock market crash, the Holocaust, the McCarthy witch-hunt, two failed marriages, and his own serial infidelities. Prickly, defensive Quentin summons up loved ones as witnesses in his own prosecution, raising intriguing questions: Is it possible to love and never lie? Is becoming a "separate person" proof of maturity or just selfishness? How do you find authenticity in a world that kills people over abstractions? What was it like to marry Marilyn Monroe?

In his eagerness for both exoneration and mortification, Quentin exhibits everything from gossip items to snapshots in a cluttered family album. This heavy hodgepodge of evidence requires energy and urgency to disguise its lack of momentum. Happily, Kathy Scambiatterra's staging is anchored in John Mossman's fever-pitch Quentin, a driven man desperate to sum up his life before the audience, his jury; tempering his urge to spill his guts is a simple search for hope.

Georgann Charuhas superbly captures the volatile Monroe's vulnerability, self-destructive spontaneity, and insatiable neediness. Kate Tummelson fully registers every frustration as the pre-Marilyn wife, and R.J. Coleman suffers nobly as a casualty of the blacklist.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment