For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday | Theater Wit | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Kathleen Ruhl, Eileen Niccolai, Patrick Thornton, and H.B. Ward

Kathleen Ruhl, Eileen Niccolai, Patrick Thornton, and H.B. Ward

Michael Brosilow

For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday 

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through May 27 2017
Price: $35, $28 seniors, $20 under age 30, $15 students
Omniproduced playwright Sarah Ruhl wrote this one-act as a birthday gift for her mother, Chicago actress Kathleen Ruhl, who plays the title role in this Shattered Globe production. I guess the rest of us are supposed to care, because the playwright hardly bothers to make the content matter. Instead she sketches three scenes—five siblings at their father’s deathbed, then at his wake (where his ghost putters about to little end), then in an insufferably twee version of Neverland—full of calculatedly bittersweet reminiscences, softball political observations, unchallenging religious musings, and ample unearned sentiment. It all seems designed to help us lament the nonproblem of privileged middle-aged adults’ reluctance to embrace adulthood. The solution? “Thinking good thoughts.” For mom’s next birthday, how about a nice pair of earrings? —Justin Hayford



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