Arcadia | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Arcadia 

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A playful and exhilarating look at the tricks time plays, Arcadia is Tom Stoppard's 1993 thinking person's thrill ride, its multifaceted three hours merrily depicting the effects of entropy on human affairs. Set in one country manse, the action alternates between 1809 and the present, plumbing the mysteries of both the original inhabitants and guests (including Lord Byron) and the driven scholars who attempt to reconstruct their lives two centuries later. The running jokes here are the paradoxical parallels that Stoppard invents as the past penetrates the present. Capability itself, Charles Newell's dream cast dazzles, never showing off or losing its grip on a script whose degree of difficulty is Olympian. --Lawrence Bommer a Through 6/3: Wed-Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 3 and 8 PM, Sun 2:30 and 7:30 PM, Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis, 773-753-4472, $36-$54.

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