Diana of Dobson's | Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through June 19 2014
Price: free-$20
This 1908 comedy by English feminist Cicely Hamilton bears a strong resemblance to George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion (which premiered four years later)—the crucial difference being that where Shaw has Henry Higgins mold Eliza Doolittle into the semblance of a cultivated upper-class woman, Hamilton's Diana serves as her own Higgins. An angry, exploited working girl, Diana comes into an inheritance and decides to blow it all on a trip to a Swiss resort that caters to the moneyed elite. There, she poses as a wealthy—and unusually outspoken—young widow, attracting the attention of various guests, especially an aristocratic ne'er-do-well named Victor. For this production, offered as part of Halcyon Theatre's Alcyone Festival of works by women, director Sarah Laeuchli has updated Hamilton's tale to the present day, transforming Diana from a department-store clerk to a waitress at a Hooters-like restaurant. The results are mixed, because Laeuchli doesn't go far enough, preserving certain Edwardian conventions (like Victor's military commission) that no longer mean what they once did. Still, the often charming cast maintains a wiseass energy that helps compensate for the ungainly bits. —Tony Adler


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