The Glass Menagerie | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Glass Menagerie

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Charles Newell's minimalist revival dispenses with chunks of dialogue, a realistic set, and intermission, offering a swift, concentrated take on Tennessee Williams's sad and angry masterwork. Sound and light shifts suggest the fretful memory of the narrator, Laura's brother Tom, who often remains onstage eavesdropping on searing scenes he'll later painfully recall--though the spare set is so blank it implies his memory is too. Jay Whittaker is excellent as Tom, and when Mary Beth Fisher eases up on Amanda's flouncing and flightiness, she drives home the awful weight of a mother's sacrifices. Ned Noyes's gentleman caller is a rich contrast to Chaon Cross's Laura, so mutely self-effacing she almost obscures the character's aching vulnerability. Happily, the glass still glows. Through 4/9: Wed-Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 3 and 8 PM, Sun 2:30 and 7:30 PM, Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis, 773-753-4472, $35-$50.

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