Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde


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It's scary to watch a great writer lie about love. The trials of Wilde, which resulted in penal servitude for "gross indecency" (homosexual acts), are meticulously recreated by Moises Kaufman (of Laramie Project fame). A riveting assemblage of heartbreaking and contradictory testimony, this 1895 media circus delivered the goods--Wilde's own martyrdom (which he could easily have avoided), the family quarrels that instigated the first trial, and the witch hunt that showed how little the Victorians differed from the Puritans. Director Stephen M. Genovese's terrific nine-man cast transforms a history lesson into an immediate confrontation between art and life. Wilde's life was a work of art, but authorship of this tragedy was out of his control.--Lawrence Bommer a Through 8/26: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 2 PM, Heartland Studio Theater, 7016 N. Glenwood, 773-791-2393, $20.

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