Execution of Justice | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Execution of Justice


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Emily Mann's docudrama comes off as melodrama in About Face Theatre's much anticipated but disappointing revival. The play recounts the 1978 murders of liberal San Francisco mayor George Moscone and gay activist Harvey Milk by their psychologically unstable political rival, ex-policeman Dan White, who served a mere five years for the crime, then committed suicide. The events--including the street riot that followed the verdict--embody the bitter culture wars still in evidence today. But rather than let the facts speak for themselves, director Gary Griffin's 12-member ensemble indulges in strident overacting, accompanied by intrusive, manipulative musical commentary by percussionist Andy Jones. The only emotionally honest performance comes from Steve Key as White, which makes the killer more sympathetic than Mann probably intended. --Albert Williams a Through 2/18: Wed-Fri 8 PM, Sat 5 and 8:30 PM, Sun 3 PM, Victory Gardens Greenhouse Theater, first-floor main stage, 2257 N. Lincoln, 773-871-3000, $20-$45.

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