The Old Curiosity Shop | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

The Old Curiosity Shop

by

comment

Lookingglass calls it a "Victorian fairy tale of joy and woe," but Dickens's 1841 serial novel is weak tea compared to Hard Times, whose 2001 staging was a triumph. Snapshots of London life--violent Punch and Judy shows, dens of iniquity--don't suit a fairy tale, but the black-and-white characters do. Long-suffering Little Nell (an uncloying Lorri Hamm) is too good to be true while the gratuitously dwarfish, melodramatic villain (a spiderlike Thomas J. Cox) is too nasty to be real and too clumsy to be threatening. Tracy Walsh's staging is delightfully comic, however, featuring Lawrence DiStasi as a sluggardly benefactor, Elizabeth Ledo as a mousy servant with a lion's soul, and Lisa Tejero as both dragon spinster and shrinking spouse. Through 6/11: Wed 7:30 PM, Thu 6:30 PM, Fri 7:30 PM, Sat 3 and 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, no show Fri 5/12, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan, 312-337-0665, $15-$58.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →