The Lady in the Van | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Lady in the Van 

The narrator is a middle-aged bachelor whose mother languishes in an elder-care facility, so perhaps it's not surprising he more or less adopts the fiercely independent old homeless woman living in a van parked in his garden. British writer Alan Bennett, who adapted the script in 1999 from his own 1989 autobiographical account, attempts to solve the mystery of Miss Shepherd's past, and their relationship gives him a forum to weigh the merits of going gentle into that good night against liberty-or-death vagrancy. Flanked by a sturdy ensemble of storefront stalwarts, Fred A. Wellisch and Joy Thorbjornsen-Coates deliver heavy-lifting performances in this Lincoln Square Theatre production, creating wholly plausible characters as they address questions too often ignored by well-meaning caretakers. --Mary Shen Barnidge a Through 9/30: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 6 PM, Lincoln Square Theatre, Lincoln Square Community Arts Center, Berry Memorial United Methodist Church, 4754 N. Leavitt, 773-275-7930, $10-$15.

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