Mrs. Warren's Profession | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Mrs. Warren's Profession

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After attempts at writing novels and melodramas, George Bernard Shaw found solid footing with this 1893 critique of hypocrisy within polite society. Mrs. Warren--an entrepreneur who's filled her coffers by franchising brothels throughout Europe--remains one of Shaw's sharpest female creations, a huge ripple in his usual stream of dowdy spinsters and petulant schoolgirls. In keeping with the script's lively tone, Robert Scogin's cast in this ShawChicago concert reading plays the comedy with admirable broadness. Donald Brearley and Michael McAlister in particular excel as the two mismatched father figures. The veteran ensemble resists the urge to camp it up during the sermonizing exchange that closes the final act: as Mrs. Warren, Belinda Bremner delivers a tear-stained plea that gives this otherwise naked staging an unexpected emotional resonance. Through 1/31: Sat-Sun 2 PM, Mon 7 PM. Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn, 312-409-5605. ("Reservations required"). Free

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