The White Road | Den Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The White Road Recommended The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through June 13 2015

In 1914, British explorer Ernest Shackleton hauled himself and 27 men toward the Antarctic in a disastrous third attempt to reach the South Pole, resulting in a wrecked ship, a stranded crew, and a colossal test of endurance (ironically, the ship’s name as well). There are many documentaries and books devoted to the expedition, and now Irish Theatre of Chicago ensemble member Karen Tarjan has added to the multiple stage plays (a musical comedy, Ernest Shackleton Loves Me, just opened in New York). It's her first, and in the beginning it wastes too much time on an initially unlikable crew, making it hard to know whether it’s the shipmates or the actors who are constantly trying to upstage one another. But once the men’s lives are upended, Tarjan fleshes them out, giving us a motley, almost vulnerable bunch we can get behind. Indeed, her drama becomes a play celebrating unabashed male love, something too rarely seen on Chicago stages. —Chloe Riley

Price: $26-$30


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