Little Lord Fauntleroy | North Lakeside Cultural Center | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through April 5 2009
Phone: 773-293-1358
Price: $10-$15
Frances Hodgson Burnett's 1885 tale acclaims a forthright American boy who, suddenly raised to the British aristocracy, melts the heart of his crusty grandfather and thwarts the mischief of a fortune huntress out to grab the earldom. (Anticipating Little Orphan Annie, Burnett would go on to create female versions of this surefire formula in The Secret Garden and A Little Princess.) No question, this flagrantly melodramatic mix of splendid sacrifices and hearts-and-flowers sentiment threatens to cloy. Embracing the excess, Frank Farrell's staging--performed throughout the former Gunder mansion, now the North Lakeside Cultural Center--revels in Burnett's curiously American desire to find nobility in, well, nobility. Because the cast never condescend, we're never punished for wanting to believe. Sure, Dickens is funnier and fiercer, but the rags-to-riches fantasy remains a potent fantasy--never more than now. --Lawrence Bommer



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