Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight | Greenhouse Theater Center | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater) Image

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through July 16 2017

Playwright Lauren Gunderson has done her part to rescue great women from that particular dustbin of history labeled "Girls." Her list of gyno-bio-dramas includes one on astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, another on mathematician Ada Lovelace, and this 2009 effort dealing with the 18th-century French aristocrat of the title, who became noted for her work in physics and notorious for her affair with Voltaire. Strong performances (especially by Laura Sturm as Emilie and Joel Moses as Voltaire) go a long way toward overcoming second-act languors and some kind of inscrutable symbolic thing involving the set. What the cast of Bryan Wakefield's Organic Theater staging can't fix is Gunderson's notion that chronicling Emilie means valorizing her—trying to convince us, for instance, that a fabulously wealthy woman who did pretty much as she pleased and was taken seriously by her peers somehow led a difficult life. A more honest Emilie might be more interesting. —Tony Adler

Price: $30

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