I, Malvolio | Chicago Shakespeare Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Tim Crouch in I, Malvolio

Tim Crouch in I, Malvolio

BruceAtherton and Jana Chiellino

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through June 5 2016
Price: $38-$48
Malvolio runs the household of the way-desirable Countess Olivia in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. He's also an overweening ass and the trigger for low comedy when more easygoing asses decide to teach him a lesson. In the Downton Abbey universe, he'd be Mr. Carson, but without redeeming qualities. British actor-playwright Tim Crouch gives Malvolio his say in this hour-long one-man show, but that's no act of empathy. Looking most notoriously abused in dirty, holey long johns, droopy yellow stockings, and some kind of horned headdress, he sputters and rails at us, an unrepentant control freak who sees an apocalypse in an improperly discarded piece of paper. Malvolio's scornful posturings are comic, his terror of disorder revealing, but neither ripens into anything else. And so, though the show never actually turns tedious (Crouch is too good for that), it does grow thin before it's time is up. In a way, Crouch is too true to the character: Unable to change, he doesn't. And that's really all there is to it. —Tony Adler

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