State of the Union | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

State of the Union The Short List (Theater) Recommended Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thu., Oct. 7 and Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Nov. 13 2010

A good choice for an election year, this rarely revived 1945 Broadway hit by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse tells the story of an idealistic industrialist, Grant Matthews, who's being groomed for the 1948 Republican presidential nomination by his girlfriend, a manipulative newspaper publisher, with the help of an unscrupulous donor. While Grant's backers urge him to pander to interest groups, his estranged wife Mary prods him to stay true to his convictions, rekindling their affection for each other. Lindsay and Crouse's take on political power brokers and their contempt for the electorate is as timely now as it was when the play premiered, and so are their comments on the GOP's attempt to appeal to both moderates and extremists. (Despite the play's assumption that the 1948 election would end 15 years of Democratic rule, Harry Truman ended up winning.) Geoff Button's cast handle the witty dialogue with flair, though Michael Dailey and Kendra Thulin don't register the deep feeling that binds Grant and Mary despite their differences. --Albert Williams

Price: $10-$20

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