Hannah and Martin | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Hannah and Martin 

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Bringing the high drama of intellectual history across onstage is generally a fool's errand, but last year the TimeLine Theatre Company pulled it off with Stoppard-ian aplomb. In her take on the personal and professional relationship of philosophers Hannah Arendt and Martin Heidegger, playwright Kate Fodor skillfully juggles romantic, conceptual, and moral narratives--prickly, potentially mind- and tongue-twisting material handled with deceptive ease by director Jeremy B. Cohen and his dexterous cast. Centering the story on the Jewish political theorist's controversial postwar efforts to rehabilitate the name of her Nazi-abetting former mentor and lover, Fodor strips Arendt's reasoning down to a cogent dialogue between spiritual parent and offspring, a kind of dialectical psychodrama that's affecting on multiple levels. Excellent principals Elizabeth Rich and David Parkes return along with most of the original cast for this Theater on the Lake engagement, the prelude to a remount in the TimeLine space. Cohen, commuting from his new home in New York, supplies the polish once again. Theater on the Lake, Fullerton and Lake Shore Dr., 312-742-7994. Opens Wednesday, August 11, 7:30 PM. Through August 15: Thursday-Saturday, 7:30 PM; Sunday, 6:30 PM. $15.

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