Music Mad | Chief O'Neill's | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Music Mad Member Picks The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays, Sundays. Continues through June 28 2012

Francis O'Neill lived a double life. In addition to his apparently unimpeachable career in law enforcement—culminating in a stint as Chicago's chief of police, from 1901 to 1905—he was obsessed with the music of his native Ireland and published collections preserving thousands of traditional songs for posterity. Directed by Prop Thtr cofounder Stefan Brun, this music-filled drama depicting the top cop's life is performed in the Avondale bar named for him, Chief O'Neill's Pub. The tunes, a mix of material collected by O'Neill and original pieces by Adam Whiteman, are simply fantastic. But Whiteman's time-traveling premise—a local TV show has brought O'Neill to the present for an interview—and fawning biographical content come across as interruptions with little soul of their own. —Keith Griffith

Price: $25

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