State Street | City Lit Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

State Street Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through June 25 2012

This musical by Philip LaZebnik and Kingsley Day is a throwback in all kinds of ways. First, it's set in Chicago in 1871, the year of the Great Fire, and features historical figures of the time, from department store magnate Marshall Field and impresario Uranus Crosby to hotelier John Drake and whorehouse madam Annie Stafford. The songs, too, are intentionally anachronistic, built out of vintage parts from Gilbert & Sullivan and the like—and including an almost postmodern homage-within-an-homage to The Music Man. And the plot? Old-fashioned, cornball romantic comedy involving a plucky young woman torn between a charismatic con man and a poor but enterprising lad. All this is offered with a wink, of course, and director Sheldon Patinkin gets a talented cast to do their winking with verve. But in the end, the multiple archaisms don't add up to anything new or even current. State Street just feels dated. —Tony Adler

Price: $22-$30

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