The Grotesque History of Marie Antoinette | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Grotesque History of Marie Antoinette

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Players' Ring West, an offshoot of a 14-year-old company in New Hampshire, initiates its plans to import works by Portsmouth playwrights with Noah Sheola's intermittently imaginative but theatrically inert retelling of the last ten years of Marie Antoinette's life. Sheola tries to camp up the hapless Hapsburg's calamities during the Affair of the Diamond Necklace and the Reign of Terror, but since there's no meaningful point of view the jokes seem like filler and his lead character never develops--she's ditzy, imperious, and screechy for two solid hours. Michael Gillett's uneven cast isn't sharp enough to exploit the script's humor, and generally sluggish pacing further hobbles the production. Through 9/3: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Athenaeum Theatre, first-floor studio theater, 2936 N. Southport, 312-902-1500, $15-$20, industry shows Thu.

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