An Evening With Groucho | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

An Evening With Groucho 

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Groucho Marx once said that he would never join a club that would have him as a member; in fact, the comedian was in a class by himself as a master of the one-line quip and the neatly spun line of illogic. But LA actor Frank Ferrante's impersonation of Groucho puts him at least on the shortlist for club admission; as the star of Groucho: A Life in Revue--a play cowritten and directed by Groucho's son Arthur in the mid-1980s--Ferrante won accolades from audiences and critics in New York and London as well as an Olivier Award nomination and a Theatre World Award for promising newcomer. In this solo show of Marxist rhetoric, Ferrante continues to combine his fine acting technique with his affinity for Groucho's special brand of absurdity, highlighting aspects of the master's career from aspiring vaudevillian to TV institution. In between the jokes and jabs, musical selections such as "Lydia, the Tattooed Lady" and "Send in the Clowns" plumb different aspects of the sexual anxiety that permeated Marx's act (hilariously) and life (not so hilariously). Schaumburg Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Court, Schaumburg, 708-894-3600. Saturday, February 6, 8 PM. $14; $2 off the total order for buyers who say the secret word when ordering tickets.

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