Vincent in Brixton | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Vincent in Brixton

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Nicholas Wright's lively if unsubstantiated recounting of Vincent van Gogh's sexual awakening in London at least aims for historical verisimilitude. The dank kitchen setting and pivotal thunderstorm seem allusions to Wuthering Heights, and references to Dickens and George Eliot abound in his literate script. But suspension of disbelief is a must given the torrid affair Wright posits between van Gogh and his boardinghouse proprietor. The sexual mores here are more in keeping with a Harlequin romance than a Victorian novel; still, kudos to Wright for portraying a May-December relationship that isn't rooted in oedipal perversion. Director Kurt Johns shows a keen eye for blocking, and his staging has a sweeping, cinematic feel that underscores Wright's attempts to frame his play as a populist love story for the ages. It should be the feel-good hit of the winter--and I mean this without cynicism. Bring plenty of tissues. Through 3/13: Wed 7:30 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 5 and 8:30 PM, Sun 3 PM. Thu 3/10, 7:30 PM. Sun 2/20 and 3/6, 3 and 7 PM. Wed 2/23, 2 and 7:30 PM. Apple Tree Theatre, 595 Elm, Highland Park, 847-432-4335. $33-$38.

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