The Unfortunates | Theater Wit | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Gail Rastorfer

Gail Rastorfer

Emily Schwartz

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through July 10 2016
Price: $38
In Aoise Stratford’s one-woman play—a hit at the 2013 New York Fringe Festival—Victorian prostitute Mary Jane Kelly takes a late-night breather in her regular London watering hole, empty save for a silent, invisible male customer. She’s Jack the Ripper’s final victim, so his identity is a safe bet. For 90 minutes she flirts, cajoles, bargains, and ultimately relives her desperate life story, complete with multiple characters and accents. While Gail Rastorfer as Kelly is engaging (although sometimes given more to enthusiasm than craft), the familiar, squalid details of Kelly’s story feel like grittier-than-average Dickens. Worse, the play makes no dramatic sense. Why is she carrying on for this stranger? Why does he listen? And what barkeep leaves his saloon unattended for so long? —Justin Hayford

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