The Last Wife | TimeLine Theatre Company | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge AnJi White and Steve Pickering in The Last Wife

AnJi White and Steve Pickering in The Last Wife

Lara Goetsch

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 18 2016
Price: $28-$51
The title of Kate Hennig's 2015 play refers to Catherine Parr, who managed not only to survive her marriage to England's King Henry VIII but to make her influence felt in important ways. Among other things, she got Henry to issue the decree that ended up legitimizing the reign of Elizabeth I. Naturally, Hennig treats Parr as a proto-feminist heroine, connecting her to our times and struggles by surrounding her, Henry, and the rest of the cast with all the appurtenances of modernity. This isn't dull hagiography, though. Hennig also imagines a smart, funny screwball-style relationship between Parr and Henry, with a grim frisson: one lover can have the other executed at any moment. Steve Pickering is the perfect charming thug as Henry, while AnJi White pushes Parr to white-knuckle levels of nerve, always arrogant, always overreaching. —Tony Adler

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