The Ruling Class | Athenaeum Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through May 19 2013
Price: $15-$20
Peter Barnes's pitch-black 1968 comedy concerns an insane British nobleman who imagines he's Jesus Christ, the god of love; disabused of his delusion, he comes to see himself as the Old Testament god of vengeance incarnated as Jack the Ripper. Barnes's satire of upper-class privilege and sexual and religious hypocrisy isn't subtle, but it's brutally funny, and the play deserves better than Goat Song Theatre's amateurish production. Evan Sawdey handles the challenging lead role (immortalized onscreen by Peter O'Toole) without any serious missteps, but the supporting performances are shallow, the English accents slipshod, and one crucial part—the aristocratic family's elderly Jeevesian retainer—is fatally miscast as a long-haired Falstaffian rogue. Worst of all, the costumes don't remotely suit the characters and setting. —Albert Williams



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