The General From America | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The General From America 

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TimeLine Theatre--whose motto is "yesterday's stories, today's topics"--couldn't have chosen a more apt season opener than this thoughtful, suspenseful drama about Benedict Arnold. Richard Nelson's 1996 play, receiving its local premiere, doesn't whitewash Arnold, a Revolutionary War hero who secretly switched allegiance and tried to hand General George Washington over to the British. But Nelson illuminates Arnold and his actions, which were motivated in part by outrage at Congress's mismanagement of the war and civilian authorities' suppression of dissent. Director Louis Contey's intimate, plainspoken production, performed by a fine 13-member ensemble, reminds us that notions of right and wrong, good and evil, patriotism and treason, are too simplistic to convey the complexities of human nature and human history. Through 10/8: Thu-Fri 8 PM, Sat 4 and 8 PM, Sun 2 PM, TimeLine Theatre Company, Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ, Baird Hall Theatre, 615 W. Wellington (courtyard entrance), 773-281-8463, $15-$25.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Lara Goetsch.

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