Lifeline Theatre, for 31 years, has been adapting novels into stage productions. They do Children’s theater productions as well as adult. Over the years. I have witnessed several blockbuster productions in a less than comfortable setting, which by the way gets more comfortable if the production is well done. This being said, you will be very comfortable in viewing “The Killer Angels” an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize novel by Michael Shaara, by Karen Tarjan. Smoothly directed by Matt Miller, this production is a remount of their original done almost ten years ago. One of the beautiful things about live theater is that a different director can take a play that enjoyed minimal success and reshape it it into one that will be mind-boggling for each spectator. This particular story is about the third year of the Civil War as General Robert E. Lee leads the army of Northern Virginia into the North and we get to see three days of the war.
What is clever about this production is that the ten men who make up the cast play both Union and Confederate soldiers, changing coats and hats from racks that are on the set ( Alan Donahue, who also did the props) and in one wonderful scene during the second act, as the rebels are marchinging into battle, they keep getting shot, but only their coats are left behind as they return to the rack and don another and get right back into the march. Special praise to costume designer Elizabeth Wislar. I also loved that they added music to the story telling( Mike Przygoda), some marvelous sound (Stephen Ptacek) and in this show, the RedLine did not detract. In fact, there were times that it sounded as if they were camping near the tracks of a train. We watch these men during these three hot days, wrestle wit the fears that they have of defeating over being defeated and their hopes that one day this will all be over and the nation can be healed. There are insights as the men express their feelings over the Black issues as well as if one person has the right to own another person.
This is a solid cast led by Don Bender ( General Lee), Matt Fletcher,Joe Flynn, Chris Hainsworth,Tom Hickey, Zach Livingston, Niall McGinty, Michael McKeogh,Steve O’Connell and Sean Sinitski. Each actor plays at least two roles, and in some cases, even more. When they switch from Blue to Gray we also hear it in their voices as they become southerners. The stage, which is small in size is used better than I have seen in the past and although the production is almost 2 1/2 hoyrs including an intermission, the time flew by quickly.
“The Killer Angels” will continue at Lifeline Theatre located in Rogers park at 6912 N. Glenwood Avenue through October 27th with performances as follows:
Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m.
Sundays at 4 p.m.
Tickets range from $40- $30 for Seniors, $20 for students ( with valid ID) and their are RUSH tickets at $20 subject to availability half hour prior ro each performance.
To order call 773-761-4477 or visit www.lifelinethetare.com
There is free parking for the theater at a lot on the northeast corner of Morse and Ravenswood with free shuttle to and from the theater. Red Line , Morse Avenue stop works for those who rely on public transportation.
To see what others are saying visst www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-up and click at “The Killer Angels”