Churchill | Greenhouse Theater Center | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Churchill Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Sept. 14 2014

Winston Churchill was a remarkable statesman and a total badass. The neglected, disdained son of a blue-blood English politician and an American beauty, he had a caustic wit, enormous pugnacity, and a tendency to piss people off. He spent his early career in the military, fighting his way through India, Sudan, and other outposts of the British Empire (all the while reporting on it for publications back home). He warned against appeasing Hitler, then led his country through the war that followed appeasement's failure. On the cusp of the Battle of Britain, he famously told the people "we shall fight in the fields and in the streets . . . we shall never surrender." Badass indeed. Ronald Keaton references all these facts and attributes in the course of his 105-minute solo turn as the great man—yet never shows us the formidable temperament behind them. Genial, sly, occasionally poignant, and packed with astonishing Churchillian quotes, the performance is engaging but lacks bite. It's as if Keaton were playing a nostalgic old pal of Churchill's rather than Churchill himself. —Tony Adler

Price: $25-$42.50

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