The Copperhead | City Lit Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Copperhead Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through May 15 2011

City Lit dusts off this long-forgotten melodrama--it made Lionel Barrymore a star in 1918--and shines it up brilliantly. An Illinois farmer, Milt Shanks, serves the Union cause as a double agent during the Civil War. But his family and neighbors think he's a traitor, and he lives as a pariah for 40 years before unburdening himself. With director Kathy Scambiatterra avoiding the temptation to camp up the many unsubtle elements in Augustus Thomas's script, her capable actors invest unstintingly. It works. Confrontations between Shanks and his wife are searing, a proper young couple's first kiss is notably hot, and Mark Pracht's climactic monologue as Shanks is spellbinding. --Dan Weissmann

Price: $25

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