Cities of Light | Piven Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Cities of Light Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks The Short List (Theater)

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 11 2011

The cities of the title are Berlin, Paris, Warsaw, and Tel Aviv—and the light they shared, according to Rebecca Joy Fletcher, was Jewish cabaret music, which flourished in each as Jewish musicians ran from exile to exile during the decades leading up to World War II. Written by Fletcher—who also stars, along with a personable young pianist named Allison Hendrix—the show is a kind of lec-dem revue in which we're introduced to a lost culture through 14 songs rendered in German, Yiddish, Hebrew, and English. The subject is fascinating, the material marvelous. So why does Fletcher feel the need to oversell it all so aggressively? There's a tortured conceit, hammy acting, an absurd amount of audience participation, and singing that grows harsh from too much trying. —Tony Adler

Price: $25, $15 previews

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