An Apology for the Course and Outcome of Certain Events Delivered by Doctor John Faustus on This His Final Evening | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

An Apology for the Course and Outcome of Certain Events Delivered by Doctor John Faustus on This His Final Evening 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

It's hard to miss Mickle Maher's brilliance in this ingenious retooling of the Faust legend, which he wrote and in which he stars as the jittery, self-recriminating doctor watching the last 60 minutes of his life slip away. Maher's Faust is not the Renaissance braggart of Marlowe or the Romantic titan of Goethe but a skittish nobody plucked from the most pathetic comedies of Gogol. This Faust has purposely shrunk his life to a series of meaningless, forgettable tasks, reasoning that if he becomes nondescript Mephistopheles won't recognize him when it comes time to claim his soul. Maher's heady, nerve-racking performance is riveting and ridiculous, but Colm O'Reilly as Mephistopheles is every bit as remarkable--despite the fact that he neither speaks nor moves during the play. O'Reilly sits like a slab of granite with an unchanging, unreadable expression, perfectly capturing the intractable indifference that drives Faust mad. They say a great actor can captivate an audience by reading the phone book; O'Reilly accomplishes the same thing doing absolutely nothing. Berger Park Cultural Center, 6205 N. Sheridan, 312-397-4010. Opens Friday, January 28, 8 PM. Through March 25: Fridays-Saturdays, 8 PM. $10 or "pay what you can."

--Justin Hayford

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Phil Cantor.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
February 05
Performing Arts
February 02

Popular Stories