Albert Williams won the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism for his theater reviews in the Reader and is a two-time winner of the… More »

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Re: “Pygmalion

Some further thoughts on this marvelous production: this is the first production of PYGMALION I've seen that made clear that Eliza (as Shaw intended) does not, should not, and cannot return to Higgins -- not because he's such a bad fellow, but because Eliza can only fulfill herself by journeying alone into uncharted territory. In that respect, the choice she makes is comparable to the choice Nora makes in Ibsen's A DOLL HOUSE. I'd never seen the similarity between the two plays before. We sense here that Eliza is both gaining and losing something by heading off on her own -- there is some cost to her here, but it is a necessary one. This is the most "Ibsen-esque" version of PYGMALION I've ever seen.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Albert Williams on 12/07/2016 at 11:55 AM

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Re: “Tracy Letts’s rebellion against the Jeff Awards is suspiciously woke

So, if Tracy Letts wins a Jeff Award even though the Jeff Committee is not given free tickets, will he send Princess Sasheen Littlefeather to accept in his stead?

5 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Albert Williams on 04/08/2017 at 4:20 PM

Re: “Born Yesterday

"Born Yesterday" is a perfect complement to Shaw's "Pygmalion," which Remy Bumppo did so well last year: http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/pygma…

Posted by Albert Williams on 04/04/2017 at 8:48 AM

Re: “A Princess of Mars

Max, I'm actually shocked, based on your response, that apparently you don't know the Christiansen book. It's pretty essential reading for anyone who claims an interest in Chicago theatre. You can probably find it on Amazon. Or at the library.

24 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Albert Williams on 03/26/2017 at 9:56 AM

Re: “A Princess of Mars

p.s. If you don't recognize the name Lenny Kleinfeld, his nom de plume was Bury St. Edmund.

27 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Albert Williams on 03/25/2017 at 7:34 PM

Re: “A Princess of Mars

Dear Max,
(1) There is no such thing as "the general public" any more, if there ever was. The audience for theatre, as for film, TV, and books, is a wide-ranging, very diverse, and often very niche-specific group. If there was a "general public," there wouldn't be the need for a publication like the Reader.
(2) Why should you, as a Reader writer, give a shit about what does or doesn't go to Broadway? Which reminds me --
(3) Four years before the first Star Wars film debuted (1973), a sci-fi theatrical production DID go to Broadway. It was from Chicago -- WARP! If you've never heard of it, you can read about it in Richard Christiansen's book "A Theater of Our Own." Created and produced by the Organic Theater -- the first great ensemble of the Off-Loop movement that emerged in the late 1960s and continues to this day -- the show was a long-running hit in Chicago, but the costs of Broadway were prohibitive for what was, indeed, a genre-focused production. So it flopped on Broadway (though it did mark the Broadway debut of Andre De Shields, who went on to create the title role in "The Wiz" two years later and then went on to star in "Ain't Misbehavin'" and other shows). It closed in NY and returned for a second long run in Chicago. It was written by the guy who went on to become the Reader's chief theatre critic for a number of years, Lenny Kleinfeld. You might want to look him up too. He seems not to have had a problem with sci-fi theatre.

29 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Albert Williams on 03/25/2017 at 7:28 PM

Re: “Is Trap Door Chicago’s greatest theater success of the last quarter century?

Remember what happened to King Pentheus when he tried to end those lewd Dionysian rituals.

Posted by Albert Williams on 01/23/2017 at 4:18 PM

Re: “A former bank in Lincoln Park is housing an incredible exhibit about AIDS

The exhibit was cocurated by former Chicago gay activist Jonathan David Katz, who (while a student at the University of Chicago) helped lead the 1986-88 movement to pass an LGBT-inclusive Chicago Human Rights Ordinance in the Chicago City Council.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Albert Williams on 12/16/2016 at 2:17 PM

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