Emma | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Jane Austen is the real star of Stephen Fedo's intelligent but busy new adaptation of Emma: the novelist's witty dialogue and blazing critique of class snobbishness propel this play about an arrogant, bossy young woman who fancies herself a gifted matchmaker. The comedy comes off best; Sam Wootten and Erica Elam are particularly good in the plum parts of foolish Mr. and Mrs. Elton, and Ashely Bagot is fetchingly dim as 17-year-old ninny Harriet Smith. The weak link in Chris Pomeroy's staging for Reverie Theatre Company is Emma herself, played by Jenny Connell. Too prim, she doesn't convey the enthusiasm and imagination that lie behind Emma's many mistakes, and as a result we don't care when she eventually makes her own match. Through 4/30: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Breadline Theatre, 1802 W. Berenice, 312-409-6501, $15, "more if you can, less if you're broke."

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