The President | Oracle Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The President Free The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Mondays, Fridays-Sundays. Continues through May 31 2014

Whatever director Max Truax touches turns to expressionism, with every angular moment played at a quasi-nightmarish remove. It was a fitting approach for Büchner, Brecht, and Genet, but it overburdens Ferenc Molnar's 1930 farce. Molnar's premise is pure froth: bank president Norrison discovers that Lydia, the young, nymphomaniacal heiress under his protection, has secretly married communist cabdriver Tony, and Norrison’s got one hour to transform him into a corporate insider. Rather than making sense of the basics—like why Tony would go along with the plan, or why Norrison wields such influence—Truax flings incongruous characters into an abstract world where many but not all props and set pieces are mimed. The dubious concept confuses the story and inhibits the humor. —Justin Hayford

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