The Violet Hour | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Violet Hour 

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In Steppenwolf's glossy 2003 staging of Richard Greenberg's play, an impressive set and careful performances designed to show off the characters' cleverness made the script feel like nothing more than a precious plume of postmodern spun sugar. In Mikhael Tara Garver's rougher, considerably more intimate Uma Productions staging--Brian Sidney Bembridge's design brings us right into the set--Greenberg's wry, witty tale of literary types in 1919 is much more urgent and persuasive. Even the comic moments seem darker and richer, less a means of avoiding uncomfortable feelings than of conveying them. Lily Mojekwu is especially fine as an African-American singer in love with a spoiled but talented young publisher. Through 5/6: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM, Mon 4/24, 7:30 PM, Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division, 773-347-1375, $15, industry nights Mon 4/17 and 4/24.

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