Necessity | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader


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In the words of Theater Oobleck's Danny Thompson, Theater on the Lake now has its strutting papers. In the last few years the once stodgy venue has begun to reflect the daring and diversity of off-Loop theater. "Apparently it's not just whether Maggie Daley will like it anymore," Thompson jokes. The Oobleck folks, the city's most entertaining lefty agitators, have been invited to storm the lakefront with a remounting of their 1998 hit, Necessity. Thompson's play tells the story of Thomas Edison, except here he's an escaped convict driven to serial murder in his quest to rule the industrial world. Thompson's facts may be off, but the dark truth of his maniacal farce--that the American entrepreneurial spirit can be lethal--is dead-on. The show also marks the return to the stage of one of Chicago's finest comedic actors, Paul Tamney, sidelined last fall when he suffered a stroke at age 36. Although the accident initially robbed him of his mental acuity and partially paralyzed one of his vocal cords, Thompson says Tamney is back up to scratch, "yelling and screaming with the rest of us." Theater on the Lake, Fullerton and Lake Shore Drive, 312-742-7994. Opens Wednesday, July 21, 8 PM. Through July 25: Thursday-Friday, 8 PM; Saturday, 4 and 8 PM; Sunday, 4 PM. $10. --Justin Hayford

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