Our Leading Lady | City Lit Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Our Leading Lady Member Picks The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 4 2011

Charles Busch's 2007 farce is a singularly difficult nut to crack. The furiously paced, intricately plotted first act is set backstage at Ford's Theatre, 1865, as fading diva Laura Keene struggles to whip a third-rate stock company into shape, convinced that President Lincoln's attendance at the opening of Our American Cousin will catapult her back to stardom. The second act injects a presidential assassination into the frothy mayhem. Only Mary Anne Bowman's Keene has enough starch in her bloomers to make it all seem absurdly, harrowingly true. The other actors in Michael Rashid's bumpy, overlong staging for Project 891 Theatre struggle to convey their characters’ stakes—a challenge compounded by Rashid's habit of stranding actors in upstage clumps. —Justin Hayford

Price: $20


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