Recommended*** When one walks into Lookingglass Theatre, located in the historic Water Tower on Michigan Avenue, one is always in for a surprise. This is a true “black box” theater, where every production is different than the last and one might be sitting on the side of the stage as easily as in front. Their latest production, “In The Garden, a Darwinian Love Story” written by Sara Gmitter is in fact the love story of one Charles Darwin and Emma Wedgewood. They grew up together and they loved together and this World Premiere takes us into the lives of the man who truly changed our thoughts relative to evolution. Darwin ( the very able Andrew White) and Emma ( the adorable Rebecca Spence) are a contrast in ideas and beliefs. Emma was a person of religion and while she was passionate in her love for Charles, they were very conflicted in the beliefs they felt.
The play, directed very smoothly by Jessica Thebus on a cleverly open set (Collette Pollard) takes us from their youth ( the younger Charles and Emma are played to perfection by John Francis Babbo and Caroline Hefferman, who also play other children later). The story telling is clever in that we can be outside or inside with very little change and therefore no break in the action from scene to scene. Darwin’s writings have been ones of controversy for many years and many people and so this particular love story is unique in how we see that despite our different ideas, love can conquer all.
The other characters in this small and talented cast are played by Austin Tichenor and Cindy Gold , who each play several roles and do so with a flair that makes you feel that this cast is much larger than the six players Thebus has chosen to tell this story. You will find yourself getting caught in the theories of Darwin and yet wondering if Emma’s thoughts are what you feel and believe. That is what makes theater so special. People who attend a play are different, and so, they see things in a different light and thus form their own opinions and ideas from what was placed before them. Sort of like life itself!
Tuesdays (5/13, 5/27 and 6/10) at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.
Thursdays (5/8,5/22 and 6/5) at 3 p.m. all at 7:30 p.m.
Fridays 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays 3 and 7:30 p.m.
Sundays at 3 and 7:30 p.m.
Tickets range from $45-$70 and are available at the box office, by phone at 312-337-0665 or online at www.lookingglasstheatre.org
Target Saturdays -matinee tickets, buy one get one free and student tickets at $20 ( limited number) for every show with ID
The theater is located at 821 N. Michigan Avenue
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-up and click at “In The Garden”