Shining Lives: A Musical | Northlight Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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Johanna McKenzie Miller, Bri Sudia, Jess Godwin, Matt Mueller, and Tiffany Topol

Johanna McKenzie Miller, Bri Sudia, Jess Godwin, Matt Mueller, and Tiffany Topol

Michael Brosilow

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through June 14 2015
Price: $35-$73
If you don't leave this show furious you have no heart. The story alone should make you furious: a group of young women, full of life and hope, take the only jobs available to them and earn early deaths for their pains. That the story is based on fact—the young women in question worked at the Radium Dial Company, in Ottawa, Illinois, in the 1920s, painting the faces of clocks and watches with radioactive paint, ingesting lots of radium in the process and contracting deadly illnesses as a result of their exposure—makes it all the more infuriating. Especially when we learn the factory owners used every trick at their disposal to wriggle out of responsibility. They blamed the women's illnesses on immorality (the first who died were accused of succumbing to tertiary syphilis), they bought off the local physicians (who just prescribed aspirin or denied the women were sick at all), they bought off the politicians (who passed laws reducing the statute of limitations for work-related illnesses from five years to two), and they fought the few who dared take them to court, filing appeal after appeal after appeal while the women wasted away and died. Continue reading >>

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