The Garbo the Musical | Athenaeum Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Garbo the Musical The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thu., March 8, 7:30 p.m., Fri., March 9, 7:30 p.m., Sun., March 11, 2 p.m., Sat., March 17, 2 p.m. and Sat., March 17, 7:30 p.m. 2018

For this original one-woman musical, Jillann Gabrielle has assembled abundant juicy material on the singular Greta Garbo, impoverished daughter of a day laborer who became an international superstar at 22, cultivated a masterfully enigmatic persona that inspired a thousand wannabe Hollywood sphinxes, challenged gender norms with iconoclastic flair, then abruptly retired at 35 in tortured pursuit of anonymity. Add potent insights into Mercedes de Acosta and Cecil Beaton (two of Garbo’s obsessed lovers who show up repeatedly in the show), a gracious presence, a flexible voice, and thirteen crafty musical numbers, and she should have a hit. But apparently overtaxed (Gabrielle is book, music, and lyric writer as well as director, designer, and star), she hasn’t shaped the material into a discernible arc, leaving Garbo in static anguish for 90 minutes. Playing in repertory with Hedda! A Musical Conversation. —Justin Hayford

Price: $32, $27 students and seniors, $17 children under ten

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