The Madwoman of Chaillot | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Madwoman of Chaillot

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Confronted with archetypally picturesque Parisians, including a winsome mime and a charmingly wry waiter, you may feel just the slightest twinge of an urge to knock somebody's teeth in. That doesn't last, though. Yes, this revival of Jean Giraudoux's satirical fantasy is too cute by half--and yes, it fails to address the script's darker aspects, including a barely encoded anti-Semitism. ("The Jews," Giraudoux once wrote, "sully, corrupt, rot, corrode, debase, devalue everything they touch.") But viewed, squintingly, as a King of Hearts-like parable about the triumph of humane madness over rapacious reason, it can be endearing. With a few exceptions, Kathy Scambiatterra's cast triumphs more by elan than skill. Gillian Kelly is game but miscast in the title role. Through 12/4: Thu 7:30 PM, Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 5 PM. Artistic Home, 1420 W. Irving Park, 773-404-1100. $17-$22.

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