Of Mice and Men Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Wed., June 9 and Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through July 10 2010

Inasmuch as John Steinbeck's classic novella draws so much of its power from incantatory cadences and slowly mounting descriptive passages, it may not be the best candidate for stage adaptation. That said, director Belinda Bremner wisely keeps things simple in this outdoor production for Oak Park Festival Theatre, putting Steinbeck's salty dialogue in the hands of actors with the emotional grit to deliver it. As the old swamper, Candy, Chicago stage veteran William J. Norris delivers a gut-socking performance, and Bremner flanks him with enough talent to keep him from seeming out of place. It's only the depth of the source that makes the show feel a bit flat. Necessarily scrubbed of some of the book's revealing interior glimpses, the script can't help but occasionally take on an animatronic air. --Keith Griffith

Price: $20-$25

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