Miss Marx: Or, the Involuntary Side Effect of Living | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Miss Marx: Or, the Involuntary Side Effect of Living The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through April 5 2014

"Some families express their love through shouting, some through hugs and kisses," writes Chicago playwright Philip Dawkins in the introduction to his promising new work, Miss Marx: Or the Involuntary Side Effects of Living. "This family loves through wit." "This family" is the tattered remains of Karl Marx's brood. In the final days of his life, exiled in London, he withers unseen in an upstairs bedroom. His only blood relative left in the home is his youngest daughter, Eleanor, the tireless organizer, orator, essayist, and agitator at the center of Dawkins's play. Orbiting her are Karl's collaborator and benefactor, Fredrick Engels; his indefatigable housekeeper, Nim; and Nim's fey adult son, Freddy, all of whom pull Eleanor in opposing directions. But the greatest and most destructive pull comes from Edward Aveling, a charming if self-involved cipher who sucks Eleanor in with the promise of making the "mannish" socialist feel like a woman at last. "The characters are quick thinkers, big lovers, over-bookers and fast movers," Dawkins adds. "The furious circles these characters spin around each other serve to hold them up like centrifugal force." His final directive to those mounting his play is a simple "Have fun!" Clearly he envisions Miss Marx as some combination of playground game, Wildean drawing-room comedy, and crystal meth binge. Continue reading >>

Price: $28

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