Insignificance | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Insignificance 

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Productions of Terry Johnson's 1982 seriocomic fantasy, about a fictional evening when the lives of Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, and Senator Joe McCarthy intersect, depend a lot on the kindness of actors. A strong cast capable of impersonating these notables would give this sweet but shallow play the illusion of depth. But a weak one, like the cast assembled here by Brad Akin, only succeeds in showing the myriad ways Johnson falls short as he steals pages from Tom Stoppard, mixing highbrow topics (the theory of relativity) with lowbrow plot turns (sex, violence). It didn't help that the night I saw the show Toby Nicholson, as Einstein, kept stumbling over his lines. Or that Julia Siple was utterly unconvincing as Marilyn.--Jack Helbig a Through 9/1: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Steep Theatre, 3902 N. Sheridan, 312-458-0722, $18.

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