Ecstasy | A Red Orchid Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Sept. 28 2014
Price: $15-$25
"Victory of the people" is the rallying cry of Cole Theatre, a new company from Chicago-based actors Boyd Harris and Layne Manzer. So it's a bit ironic that the group's inaugural production is Mike Leigh's Ecstasy, whose downtrodden working-class characters would seem anything but victorious. Manzer, Cole Theatre's artistic director, and Harris, managing director, say they chose the play because it's "big, ambitious." And it is that. Leigh, of course, is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker whose credits include Secrets & Lies (1996), Topsy-Turvy (1999), and Vera Drake (2013). But he's long written and directed for the stage as well; Ecstasy debuted in 1979 at London's Hampstead Theatre. Not atypically for Leigh, nudity and violence take their turns in the show, and its setting—1970s London, in a heavily Irish neighborhood near Kilburn High Road—calls for a range of working-class dialects that American actors really have to nail if the whole thing isn't to reek of phoniness. On top of that, the play takes quite a while to get going. Continue reading >>



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