Twain's World | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Twain's World New Review (Theater and Comedy) The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through July 19 2014

In its now-annual Lit Fest, First Floor Theater pays tribute to Mark Twain with seven short plays, four inspired by his work, the last three inspired by his life. In this case, fiction surpasses reality. "Little Bessie" and "A Medieval Romance" capture Twain's irreverent spirit, while "Sender" and "Parker" update and reconsider episodes from Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. (It's particularly endearing when the latter-day Huck and Jim bond over Michael Jackson while smoking a joint.) But "Dear Liv," about the courtship of Sam and Olivia Clemens, feels too ephemeral despite Chris Fowler's starry-eyed Sam, and Conor Wood's unconvincing Twain ruins the potentially touching "Death of Jean," about the death of the writer's daughter. And the ambition of "When Beggars Die, There Are No Comets Seen," in which Twain faces his own death, exceeds its execution. —Aimee Levitt

Price: $15

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