The Cocktail Party | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Cocktail Party 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

T.S. Eliot's seldom produced 1950 Tony winner delivers a bracingly intelligent combination of Noel Coward-like repartee, philosophical paradoxes, and deep-dish ponderings on identity, the pitfalls of marriage, and the possibility of change. In the manner of Frank Capra, the story revolves around three semicelestial "guardians" who help three failing souls find salvation in either resignation ("making the best of a bad lot") or transcendence through martyrdom. Jennifer Shook's revival for Caffeine Theatre is perfectly tuned, persuasive even when Eliot's aphoristic dialogue isn't. Seldom succumbing to mannered melodrama, the seven performances are crisp, clear, and charming. Despite Eliot's recondite religious themes and sometimes enigmatic mandarin style, this 160-minute verse drama feels fresh. Through 4/23: Thu-Sat 3 PM, Sun 3 PM, Athenaeum Theatre, first-floor studio, 2936 N. Southport, 312-902-1500, $12-$15, industry nights Thu.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Lawrence Bommer

Popular Stories