Les Parents Terribles | The Artistic Home | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Les Parents Terribles Member Picks The Short List (Theater) Recommended Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through April 13 2014

Jean Cocteau’s brilliant 1938 play about a dysfunctional Parisian family follows the conventions of lightweight boulevard comedy while managing to subvert them, showing with an uncompromising acuity the selfishness and hypocrisy of the characters and their bourgeois milieu. The premise is silly—maman, a semi-invalid, is besotted with her son, a childish 22-year-old in love with a working-class bookbinder who also happens to be his father’s mistress—but the execution is ferocious in John Mossman’s hurricane of a production. Essentially required to throw a three-act temper tantrum, the cast displays a remarkable amount of energy and commitment. Kathy Scambiatterra is hilarious as the self-dramatizing matriarch, while Julian Hester, as her son, has to have set some kind of record for sustained hysteria. —Zac Thompson

Price: $28-$32


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