Death of a Salesman | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Death of a Salesman

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The Hypocrites' production of what may be the most analyzed of Arthur Miller's plays succeeds for lots of reasons. But a key factor is director Sean Graney's ability to weave together Willy Loman's present and past with a tensile intelligence and visual elan, evident in the clever set Graney designed with Jim Moore. It helps that Willy and Linda are played by real-life couple Bill and Donna McGough, who deliver performances with a lived-in level of believability. This is a relatively muted take on Willy's last days, which befits the chamber setting--a studio theater at the Athenaeum--and makes the play's occasional spiky outbursts all the more effective. The show is well worth seeing if only to marvel at how Graney and his excellent cast handle the breathtaking final 15 minutes, but the rest of the production's three hours offers many riches as well. Through 10/16: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM. Athenaeum Theatre, second-floor studio theater, 2936 N. Southport, 312-902-1500. $20.

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