Sophie's Masterpiece--a Spider's Tale | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Sophie's Masterpiece--a Spider's Tale 

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Alan Donahue and Chuck Larkin's musical adaptation of Eileen Spinelli's picture book introduces new characters and expands on ideas this simple story barely suggests. Sophie remains an extraordinarily artistic spider, but now we see her mother encouraging her to revere beauty. And Sophie's adventures with a sea captain, cook, and landlady are treated briskly while scenes with a happy, hopeful expectant mother are fleshed out. This approach makes for a sweet story perfect for sentimental parents, but others may not appreciate it. The script has heart but there isn't much happening, and Shole Milos's staging for Lifeline Theatre is listless: the dancing is often dull, and the songs blend together. It would help to have less exposition of big ideas about art and nature, and more comedy and bolder songs. Through 3/13: Sat 11 AM and 1 PM, Sun 1 PM. Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood, 773-761-4477. $9 in advance; "pay what you can" at the door.

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