The Explorers Club | Windy City Playhouse | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Explorers Club Member Picks The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Mondays, Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through April 17 2016

Playwright Nell Benjamin erects easy targets for ridicule—self-congratulatory, myopic Victorian men (here a pack of pseudoscientists faced with the possibility of admitting a woman to their private club)—and tries to knock them down through farce. But the tenuous, underdeveloped plotting and two-note characters result in a middling, two-hour wacky sitcom largely devoid of the heightened stakes that make farce farcical. Even the assemblage of three angry mobs, including the British army, bent on sacking the club, never produces a palpable sense of danger. Part of the problem comes from director David H. Bell’s overly pleasant production, which rarely contains a sharp angle or bracing contrast despite some winning performances. Luckily there’s a bar in the lobby and a second onstage. —Justin Hayford

Price: $25-$55

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