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The Veil
The Veil

The Veil
Idle Muse Theatre Company at Edge Theatre
Thru - Sep 17, 2017

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Idle Muse Theatre Company at Edge Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Somewhat Recommended

"...There are plenty of intriguing ideas in McPherson’s play. But as Hannah asks Berkeley, “Do you not tire of philosophers making up worlds where nobody lives?” Despite the best efforts of Kreitman and her cast, too often “The Veil” obscures the world of the Lambrokes. We feel flashes of empathy and terror and humorous comradeship with them, but the play lacks the satisfying emotional climax that marks McPherson’s best work, leaving us groping in the half-light for resolution."
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Kerry Reid

Chicago Reader- Somewhat Recommended

"...he result is a sometimes creaky hybrid that pulls its punches when describing a corrupt system that just 20 years later will result in the deaths of a million Irish people and the migration of a million more. The ghost, when it appears, isn't scary. And we never really care about the fate of McPherson's benighted Lambrokes-at least not in Ann Kreitman's competently directed but ultimately cold production."
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Jack Helbig

Windy City Times- Recommended

"...Theater historians preferring to ignore the intervening years between the age of Goethe and Schiller and that of Ibsen and Chekhov, audiences in 2017 may find themselves confused at confronting two such dissimilar genres portrayed on the same stage, despite the heroic efforts of director Ann Kreitman and a muscular Idle Muse company to guide us through the complex evolutionary progress of McPherson's narrative. Playgoers are advised to take their cue from the extrasensory Hannah—portrayed by Ashley Crowe, not as the traditional tubercular sylph, but a sturdy young woman intellectually capable of more than serving as a mere vessel for wayward phantoms."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Time Out Chicago- Somewhat Recommended

"...This production, directed by Ann Kreitman, treats the play as a fairly straightforward melodrama. There are some spooky touches, one of which, involving a mirror, will actually succeed in sending a chill or two up your spine. However, the actors' spirited (sorry) renditions of the characters and the story often cut against the strength of McPherson's writing: that soft, brooding melancholy that seeps out ever so slowly through the pores like a night of long, mournful boozing. Ironically, it's the show's energy and verve that end up leaving it listless. But it must be said, again, that McPherson doesn't give the cast too much to work with. He provides a lot of play, yes-it's a long two-and-a-half hours-but very little to play with."
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Alex Huntsberger

Stage and Cinema- Not Recommended

"...Eschewing ideological arguments or historical reclamation, The Veil has no direction or destination: The increasingly exasperating vignettes seem to make themselves up as they go. It's not Ann Kreitman's fault: No amount of disciplined direction could sort out or make sense of McPherson's hodgepodge of worthless revelations, unproductive plotting, and silly set speeches. His dreary and static script takes forever to go nowhere and has at least three endings (but no resolution since nothing was at stake). It could tax the patience of the most masochistic theatergoer."
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Lawrence Bommer

ChicagoCritic- Not Recommended

"...If I was to ask the director, I'd ask if they realize that most audience members will not understand players who speak extremely fast and run their words together, especially in a wordy period drama. I blame Allison Asher, the dialect coach, for getting almost everyone speaking with the same tone and timber and still letting them speskt too fash. The idea is not to show off a cool accent but to communicate information and be understood. This major flaw has doomed The Veil. If you are going to have an audience sit through a 2 hour and 40 minute complex story, give them a chance to understand all the players."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Theatre Review- Not Recommended

"...Audiences expecting to enjoy one of Conor McPherson's well-known tantalizing ghost stories, in the style of "The Weir," will be sadly disappointed with this play. This playwright is known for his wordy plays, but there's always a well-earned payoff by the final scene. There's no mounting horror except the time audiences will spend wading through three hours of philosophical banter. While this play, set in a haunted house in early 19th century Ireland, offers glimmers of ghostly visions and a faint promise of spectral interference, in the end it's all just a lot of talk."
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Colin Douglas

Picture This Post- Somewhat Recommended

"...If you enjoy McPherson's signature density of language, The Veil offers some fodder to chew on. His themes resonate with our own times - economic unrest, threatening foreign rulers, and a spiritual search for release from suffering."
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Stephen Starr