Dead Writers Theatre’s “Lady Windemere’s Fan” Review – Letting Oscar Wilde Speak

 

If you happen to be a devotee of the quick-to-read weekly news magazine The Week you know that Oscar Wilde’s bon mots seem to get a lot of ink in their column of famous quotes.  Could it be that most of these come from his play “Lady Windemere’s Fan”?  It certainly seems so.

 

Dead Writers Theatre Collective does Chicagoans a service by mounting this Wilde script, and by giving clean performances that let the writing come through. 

 

 

This is a period piece that director Jim Schneider thankfully keeps intact as such.  His direction allows the play, which you may have seen many times before, speak for itself. 

 

 

Like other Wilde material, it tweaks a black and white world view of morality. 

 

 

How Lady Windemere’s rigid understanding of good and evil becomes undone and re-done in a day’s time is the story of the play. 

 

 

It’s especially satisfying, as play’s often are, that the entire dramatic arc takes place in such a short timespan.

 

 

All the actors are fine, with the lead roles (Megan Delay as Lady Windermere; Doug Reed as Lord Darlington; Edward Fraim as Lord Windermere; and Joanna Riopelle as Mrs. Erlynne) giving us fine performances.  The big surprise seems to be at the final curtain when the large cast of twenty comes to take bows. “Were there really that many in the cast?”, we think.  

 

 

It’s the success of this production to deliver the goods, Oscar Wilde’s script, and not get in the way.  Whether you would like this play or not is likely just a measure of how much Wilde is your cup of tea.

 

Now through June 7.

 

Stage 773

1225 West Belmont

Chicago

 

For tickets visit the Dead Writer’s Theatre Collective website or call 773 327 5252.

 

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Photos:  Michael Brosilow

 

 

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