Oh, Coward! | Athenaeum Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Ian Rigg, Joanna Riopelle, and Michael Pacas

Ian Rigg, Joanna Riopelle, and Michael Pacas

Emma Meyer

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Sept. 18 2016
Price: $42, $32 seniors, $27 students/children
www.deadwriters.net
For this diverting but pointless 1972 revue, creator Roderick Cook strings together three dozen Noel Coward songs, interspersed with bits of his dramatic and autobiographical writings, with scant interest in narrative, cultural, or historical context. Each piece is an island, floating or sinking solely on the strength of the performance. Under Cameron Turner's laissez-faire direction, the trio of actors in Dead Writers Theatre's handsomely designed production spend most of their hesitant, imprecise first act sinking, waterlogging Coward's wit as they go. With the exception of Joanna Riopelle's careful, introspective take on "If Love Were All," it's not until Ian Rigg's exacting rendition of "In a Bar on the Piccola Marina" midway through act two that everything falls into place. It’s a bit late. —Justin Hayford

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