The Return of Herbert Bracewell or Why Am I Always Alone With You? | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Return of Herbert Bracewell or Why Am I Always Alone With You? 

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This hymn to a ham salutes all the stars who never shone. Herbert Bracewell is an 87-year-old thespian whose mind is as cluttered as the memorabilia-strewn attic where he plans his comeback. Sorting through old props, he regales us with anecdotes of theatergoers who imagined him dead because he played Marley's Ghost so often and occasions when he rose to the occasion as an understudy. In William Pullinsi's surefire staging of Andrew Johns's comedy, Bracewell is played with charming confusion by Art Kassul, a performer who's trod the boards for half a century. Ami Silvestre holds her own as Bracewell's tough-loving wife, who offers him questionable praise: that honest Herbert always played himself. If Silvestre is at times too nice for the role, that's to her credit. Through 12/19: Thu 7:30 PM, Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM. No show Thu 11/25. Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, 773-327-5252. $20-$25.

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