Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde | City Lit Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde New Review (Theater and Comedy) The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 18 2016

The defamation lawsuit Oscar Wilde brought against the Marquess of Queensbury in 1895 resulted later that year in Wilde’s own imprisonment, with hard labor, for “gross indecency,” a euphemism for homosexuality. Moisés Kaufman’s theatrical rendition of these proceedings, here staged by Promethean Theatre Ensemble, is essentially a dossier of excerpts from Wilde’s trial transcripts and subsequent documents. Wilde comes across as a martyred Christ figure, his incomparable aphorisms transformed into ringing platitudes of inclusivity. As righteous indignation swells in our throats, though, something embarrassing happens: Wilde insists, in quotation after quotation, that moral grandstanding has no place in art. And yet the play itself is as emphatically a piece of moral grandstanding as you'll find. Ill-conceived and drearily acted, it violates all the canons of Wilde’s art in the noble cause of educational theater. —Max Maller

Price: $25, $20 seniors, $15 students and children


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