The Sundial | City Lit Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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Tom McGrath

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 12 2017
Price: $32, $27 seniors, $12 students and military
Paul Edwards’s faithful adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s cunningly misanthropic 1958 novel strikes a shrewd balance between grotesque absurdity (Gloria, a teenage family visitor to the Halloran clan’s fading manse, sees apocalyptic visions in an heirloom mirror only when it’s smeared with olive oil) and droll menace (the Hallorans' kleptocratic matriarch, Orianna, welcomes humanity’s extinction by turning into a midcentury Catherine the Great). While the uneven performances and graceless set give the production a persistent clunkiness, the coy spitefulness and well-tailored paranoia nicely evoke Jackson’s postwar worldview. And once in a while it does the soul good to ponder whether any quarter of humankind deserves to be spared from the fiery furnace. —Justin Hayford

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