Bach at Leipzig | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Bach at Leipzig

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Some say graduate programs turn out gimmicky, school-clever playwrights whose main skill is knowing how to be just the right amount of quirky. Some may have a point. The recent recipient of an MFA, Itamar Moses has written a play that's ostentatiously gimmicky, assertively academic, and chock-full of amusing quirk. It's also lovely, wise, tender, strong, and the best play I've seen--or can imagine--by a young playwright. Centered on the intrigues of seven organists vying for a post at Leipzig's Thomaskirche in 1722, Bach at Leipzig combines Larry Gelbart's vaudeville instincts with Tom Stoppard's metatheatrical intricacies. Think of it as "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Coast of Utopia." Nick Bowling's production is a carnival of ensemble craftsmanship. --Tony Adler a Through 4/1: Tue 7:30 PM, Wed-Fri 8 PM, Sat 4 and 8 PM, Sun 2:30 and 6 PM, Writers' Theatre, 325 Tudor Ct., Glencoe, 847-242-6000, $40-$58.

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