The Ballad of the Sad Cafe | Chopin Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Ballad of the Sad Cafe Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Sept. 12 2009

Edward Albee followed his breakthrough hit Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? with this dramatization of Carson McCullers's novella, set in a dirt-poor Georgia mining community during the Depression. A flop in its 1963 Broadway premiere, the play is seldom revived--so thanks are due to Signal Ensemble Theatre for its riveting production of a haunting, unfairly neglected work. Albee captures the folkloric, even epic, quality of McCullers's tale about a twisted love triangle involving Miss Amelia, the mannish moonshiner who runs the town's cafe; Lymon, a freakish "brokeback" who stirs her affections; and Marvin Macy, the roughneck who falls for Amelia and then vows vengeance when she rejects him. Ronan Marra's well-acted, beautifully designed staging balances gothic grotesquerie, dark comedy, melancholy lyricism, and shocking violence, and live music enhances the atmosphere. --Albert Williams

Price: $10-$20


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