Hizzoner | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader


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Neil Giuntoli's economical, mercurial performance in his own new play is so compelling it almost compensates for the script's lack of urgency. As Mayor Richard J. Daley, he's never less than fascinating, eclipsing everyone else in the cast: Hizzoner is a one-man show waiting to happen. Like Anthony Hopkins in Nixon, Giuntoli evokes rather than impersonates his character, a savvy kingmaker who can destroy most anyone's career with a phone call--though he can't comprehend why Negroes would riot in the wake of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. Though historical events are liberally telescoped, Giuntoli focuses on Daley's struggles against the changing political tides of 1967 and '68. Still, without a central conflict, the play's more diorama than drama. Open run: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Prop Thtr, 3502-4 N. Elston, 773-539-7838, $25.

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