Tuesday March 26 12:12 am

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

"The Woman in Black" - Review by Alan Bresloff

Woman in Black.jpg

“The Woman in Black” has been on the London stage for 30 years ( the longest running West End play). It is a stage adaptation ( Stephen Mallatratt) of the novel written by Susan Hill, depicting the story of a man, Arthur Kipps ( Bradley Armacost is sensational in this role) who has a story that he desires to be told, but having written it, has no confidence that anyone will accept of believe what has taken place in his life.

He goes to a vacant theater where he meets with hired actor The Actor ( this character is deftly handled by Adam Wesley Brown) to help bring this story to light. The story is set in an isolated mansion that appears abandoned and within its wall are secrets. Kipps, a lawyer has encountered horrific visions in the house, that he finds unexplainable. The area surrounded by water ( marshes) and filled with winds and noises is one that might put the fear into the audience members. It appears that our Lawyer, Kipps cannot explain them so he feels that The Actor will help him to understand and get to the bottom of the haunting that he feels is in this mansion.

A the Actor takes on the persona of Kipps (Brown handles this with ease), the real Kipps ( Armacost) takes on other parties that are part of his life’s experience regarding this eerie situation. For two hours ( two acts with an intermission) we are taken deep into the history of the Lawyer and those around him. The set , which seems very simple is not all that we think we see, but behind the closed -door there is a room that is filled with a six -year -old boy’s life. His clothes, his furniture, his toys and games, but where is the boy? I must say the set ( Michael Holt) and the sound (Rod Mead) along with great lighting effects ( Kevin Sleep) work well to keep the audience on the edge of their seats. The actors, from time to time, in particular Armacost, will speak directly to the audience as the story gets more thrilling.

There are some very scary moments and from time to time, you might find yourself jumping a bit. Oh, yes! There is indeed a “Woman in Black”. Or is there? We see her and the Actor sees her, changing his attitude about the reality of what he is being paid to do. Since this is a mystery and a very well put together one, I will not give away any of what transpires, but will tell you that if you are into mysteries, make sure you get to The royal George for this one. It is “brilliant” with two solid actors, great direction and overall technically perfect.

The play’s run has been extended thru February 17th with performances as follows:

Wednesdays 7:30 p.m.
Thursdays 7:30 p.m.
Fridays 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Sundays 2:30 p.m.

Tickets range from $49-$69 and can be purchased by calling 312-988-9000 or http://www.ticketmaster.com
For more info on the play, visit www.theroyalgeorgetheatre.com

The theater is located at 1641 N. Halsted, just North of North Avenue and they offer valet parking