All's Well That Ends Well | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

All's Well That Ends Well 

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Few Shakespeare productions gallop at half the pace director Jeff Harnish sets in this Velvet Willies production. That swiftness gives an apt giddiness to Helena's headlong quest to wed the haughty Bertram, who flees the country after being betrothed to her by the king. But keeping the show on fast-forward not only creates a uniform energy and an ultimately wearying avalanche of words, it also obscures the troubling question that gives the play psychological weight: why can't the seemingly insightful Helena let go of a self-serving, inconstant lech? This may be "All's Well Lite," but considering that the cast also perform Hamlet in repertory, it's impressive they're even on their feet for the final curtain. And Roseanne Clark in her Chicago debut effortlessly combines Helena's lowborn humility and native chutzpah into a satisfying whole. Through 8/7: Thu (7/14, 7/28) 7:30 PM, Fri (7/22, 8/5) 8 PM, Sat 3 PM (7/23, 8/6) and 8 PM (7/16, 7/30), Sun (7/24, 8/7) 3 PM. Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division, 773-276-1864. $10-$15; $20 on Sat for this show and Hamlet.

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