The House of Blue Leaves | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The House of Blue Leaves

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John Guare's thinking farce, set on the eve of the pope's 1965 visit to New York, concerns a thwarted songwriter (Doug McDade), his good-hearted but crackbrained wife (the moving Linda Reiter), and his celebrity-crazed good-time girlfriend (a flipped-out Eileen Niccolai). The trick is to make the play both achingly funny and painfully real--as Guare says, equally Strindberg and Feydeau. This production succeeds, hilariously. Director Ann Filmer's five-star revival for Shattered Globe Theatre erupts in a kind of comic fever; the consummate cast never drops the energy or condescends to the neurotically needy characters. Through 3/5: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Victory Gardens Theater, second-floor studio, 2257 N. Lincoln, 773-871-3000, $26-$35.

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