Right Ho, Jeeves! | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Right Ho, Jeeves!


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Right Ho, Jeeves! City Lit Theater Company, at the Theatre Building. P.G. Wodehouse fans who anticipate a new Bertie and Jeeves play almost as eagerly as they do the arrival of Santa Claus will welcome this revival of the 1993 adaptation that inaugurated City Lit's highly successful series. Likewise deserving of applause is the reunion of Page Hearn and adapter Mark Richard: Richard again portrays ineffectual playboy Bertie Wooster, while Hearn is the unflappable Jeeves. But the heartiest endorsement of all is due Judith West, she of the three-octave bellow, who returns in the role of Bertie's tenacious Aunt Dahlia.

The plot is the usual nonsense, this time involving two pairs of addlepated lovers (one earthy, the other spacey), the mating habits of amphibians, a temperamental cook, a leftover steak-and-kidney pie, a fortuitously placed bicycle, and a white mess jacket. The set comes complete with traps, flaps, and cubbyholes, and veteran City Lit director Sandra Grand keeps the cast in swift and agile motion.

This production's mounting in the Theatre Building's garagelike south stage, with its echoing acoustics and cinematic sight lines, requires some adaptation by both actors and audience. But City Lit's sixth annual holiday treat--scheduled early this year to circumvent January blizzards--is a sparkling, giddy romp that should swell the ranks of delighted B & J aficionados. --Mary Shen Barnidge

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