The Lark | Athenaeum Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 22 2014
Price: $12-$22
Jean Anouilh's poetic, intermittently fantastical reimagining of the trial of Joan of Arc is a romantic pageant steeped in the playwright's own brand of humanist philosophy: he justified his eccentric approach by saying that children are allowed to "play at imitating bird-song, even if they know nothing of ornithology. This is just about what I've done." Director John Arthur Lewis stages Lillian Hellman's faithful 1955 adaptation with the ponderous gravity of a Ken Burns documentary, belaboring every detail as though it were gospel truth. The approach muddies the play's bigger pictures, sacrifices its imaginative flow, and diminishes its life-and-death stakes. As the Inquisitor, Nick Lake provides the evening's only moments of terror. As Joan, Aila Peck weeps a lot. —Justin Hayford



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