The People's Temple | American Theater Company | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The People's Temple The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Sept. 28 2008

This ambitious docudrama recounts events surrounding the 1978 Jonestown Massacre, a mass murder/suicide in which more than 900 Americans died. Drawing on interviews with survivors, journalists, and others, writer-director Leigh Fondakowski and her creative team chart the rise and fall of radical San Francisco preacher Jim Jones, whose drug addiction and paranoia led to the catastrophic ruin of the multiracial socialist community he'd founded in Guyana. The material is dramatically charged and historically significant, but the crowded set--rows of shelves stacked with file boxes, presumably containing the victims' effects--restricts the 12 actors playing multiple roles. The result is a sometimes engrossing, sometimes confusing, visually monotonous evening anchored mainly by the performance of Darrell W. Cox, who portrays both the charismatic Jones and his son Stephan. --Albert Williams

Price: $30-$35

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