Pericles Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Jan. 18 2015

You've got to give credit to the folks at Chicago Shakespeare Theater: they take their mission seriously enough that they'll attempt even this miserable contrivance, only partly written by the Bard and extant only in a corrupt quarto that scholars suppose was pieced together from memory. The editors of the First Folio couldn't justify including Pericles in their collection, but CST is willing to give it a try. The story is reminiscent of The Winter's Tale in that it concerns a king who spends years separated from his wife and daughter. But where the estrangement in The Winter's Tale is caused by the king's reckless behavior, here it's just another damned thing that happens. Best known for musicals, director David H. Bell tries all kinds of tactics to make something silky of his sow's ear. Now it's a comedy with metatheatrical winks. Now it's a fantasia a la Mary Zimmerman. Now . . . dancing! Nothing works. And Bell is further hobbled by his poorly cast leading man, Ben Carlson, whose Pericles resembles an accountant in a jerkin. At least we've got Nan Cibula-Jenkins's sumptuous costumes and Scott Davis's cunning sets to look at. —Tony Adler

Price: $58

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