Season on the Line | Chopin Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Season on the Line Member Picks The Short List (Theater) Recommended Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Oct. 26 2014

Theater professionals are going to love the shop talk that saturates this new play by Shawn Pfautsch, but its smart pleasures are open to everybody. A tale of obsession and disaster built on America's most revered tale of obsession and disaster, Season on the Line follows the crew of the good ship Bad Settlement Theater as they attempt to wrangle Moby-Dick to the stage. Their Ahab is Bad Settlement’s intimidating artistic director, Ben Adonna; their white whale Arthur Williamson, a powerful theater critic a la Frank Rich whose make-or-break potency comes to haunt Ben's every move. Jess McLeod's sharply articulated production fills the House Theatre of Chicago stage with vivid characters, from the big, inscrutable galoot of a set builder (Christopher M. Walsh) to Ben's bizarre guru (Tiffany Yvonne Cox), who looks like Diana Ross and talks like Oprah's unhinged sister. Thomas J. Cox's Ben is so gracefully built that you never quite notice that he's turned from a big personality into a monster until it's too late. Ty Olwin is just the right amount of wide-eyed as Bad Settlement's Ishmael. The 200-minute running time may sound long, but I can't imagine what I’d cut. —Tony Adler

Price: $25-$35

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