Watch on the Rhine | The Artistic Home | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Nov. 16 2014
Price: $28-$32
Lillian Hellman issued a prescient warning against the Nazi threat in this proudly interventionist political drama, which premiered on Broadway in April 1941—eight months before the United States entered World War II. The plot has to do with the wealthy Farrelly clan, whose relatively quiet life of witty rejoinders and interpersonal drama is disrupted by the arrival of two European houseguests: a venal, Nazi-sympathizing Romanian count and a German fighter in the underground anti-Fascist resistance. Due to the script's old-fashioned drawing-room structure, Cody Estle's staging often feels stodgy despite the cast's best efforts (as the matriarch, Kathy Scambiatterra in particular has a way with a wisecrack). Still, the final showdown between idealism and self-interest remains stirring and relevant. —Zac Thompson

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