Lady Chaplin & Her Tramp: The Life & Art of Charlie Chaplin | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Lady Chaplin & Her Tramp: The Life & Art of Charlie Chaplin 

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There's too much unprocessed life and not enough art in Michael Stock's play. Chaplin's career is recalled by his last wife, the frenetic Oona (Eugene O'Neill's daughter), who talks about a clumsy chain of sex scandals (including statutory rape), FBI intimidation, four mainly miserable marriages, forced exile, unhappy children, and tabloid trifles. Jonathan Pereira as Chaplin is oddly suave and wooden, while Jenni Fontana's needy, neurotic Oona wears out her welcome aeons before the play's 150 very long minutes are over. Jennifer Green's staging moves the mess along but bogs down in Stock's prolonged comparisons of Chaplin and Oona's life to Lolita and Long Day's Journey Into Night. Meanwhile Charlie escapes this unfocused retrospective altogether. Through 6/25: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 2:30 PM, Piven Theatre, Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes, Evanston, 847-866-8049, $23-$25.

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