Uncle Philip's Coat | Greenhouse Theater Center | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Gene Weygandt in Uncle Philip's Coat

Gene Weygandt in Uncle Philip's Coat

Evan Hanover

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 31 2016
Price: $34-$48
The title garment is ratty old thing Uncle Philip schlepped with him from Ukraine (which he fled as a nine-year-old, after a pogrom) to Coney Island (where he died decades later, after a marginal life as a boardwalk peddler). Now that his nephew has inherited it, it's a ratty old nuisance. But in the course of this one-man show written by Matty Selman and performed by the estimable Gene Weygandt, the coat also becomes a way into Philip's mind—an interesting place to be, given the trauma that determined his life and the sweet, cracked humor that helped him negotiate it. Weygandt and director Elizabeth Margolius make the visit as engaging as possible; Jews of Ashkenazi descent, especially, should find multiple points of communion. But they don't solve basic dramaturgical problems that make what should be minor issues loom large. Nor can they avoid tripping over the odd bucket of schmaltz. —Tony Adler



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