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Whose Body?
Whose Body?

Whose Body?
Lifeline Theatre
Thru - Nov 10, 2019

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Lifeline Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Recommended

"...Jess Hutchinson’s direction adds to the script’s wit with a steady influx of physical bits. One particular favorite of mine is when Wimsey and his friend and crime-solving partner, Inspector Parker (John Drea), simply stand, staring at an unkempt bed. One beat, two beats, three beats, a head tilt. The timing is fantastic and Wimsey’s exasperation punctuates the moment perfectly."
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Jerald Pierce

Chicago Reader- Somewhat Recommended

"...But even with a closely kept ear, the puzzle that drives the story evolves pretty quickly from intricate to inscrutable. Unlike in a novel, where world-building details have some room to breathe, the story here becomes strained underneath a torrent of proper nouns and red herrings, as well as arcane character backstories that are made only more confusing by double- and triple-casting. Clocking in at close to two and a half hours, Hutchinson's production builds a strong case for reading Sayers's books—the mystery of whether or not their stories fit onstage, though, remains unsolved."
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Dan Jakes

Around The Town Chicago- Recommended

"...In the days before talkies, color movies, radio, television, and video, it was theatre that brought whodunits to admiring audiences. Lifeline Theatre has continued this tradition by staging its elegant production of “Whose Body?”, based on Dorothy Sayers’ 1923 classic thriller. Its skillful adaption for the Lifeline stage by Frances Limoncelli will most certainly pique the interest of a new generation of spectators, some of whom might be drawn to pick up the original novel."
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Julia W. Rath

NewCity Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...Famed mystery writer Dorothy L. Sayers’ first book, “Whose Body?,” introduced both her and her part-Fred Astaire, part-Bertie Wooster gentleman detective Lord Peter Wimsey to hordes of readers who couldn’t wait to turn the page to find out whodunit. Lifeline Theatre is in the business of turning literary classics corporeal, and ensemble member Frances Limoncelli’s adaptation shows off her awarded flair. This remounting of Lifeline’s 2002 production is delicious in design and spirit."
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Aaron Hunt

Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended

"...In addition to telling a thrilling, sometimes grisly story, played beautifully by a terrific cast, there’s a great deal of backstage artistry that makes this melodrama so fine. As mentioned, Jess Hutchinson’s direction is spot-on. Scenic designer Alan Donahue has designed a gorgeous set, filled with Edwardian English detail, that provides a great deal of versatility in the intimate Lifeline space. The shadowy story is nicely lit by Diane D. Fairchild. Co-costumers Caitlin McLeod and Anna Wooden have clothed their characters with perfect period style. And Stephanie M. Senior has created an superb sound design that adds much to the mood and suspense of this British thriller."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Theater Reviews- Recommended

"...The Lifeline production beautifully captures the style of the 1920's in its costumes (designed by Caitlin McLeod and Anna Wooden), its creative multi-level set (designed by Alan Donahue), its atmospheric lighting (designed by Diane D. Fairchild), and the eerie sound bytes designed by Stephanie M. Senior). And a shout out to Carrie Hardin for instilling a multitude of English accents so spot-on among all the actors, some of whom have to shift dialect gears on the instant as they change characters."
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Dan Zeff

The Fourth Walsh- Highly Recommended

"...Although the mystery is the central intellectual curiosity, the story is so much more than murder. It has heart and humor! Rose’s relationship with a haughty yet doting McLean Hainsworth is adorable. McLean Hainsworth zings the one liners with panache. Their delighted presence at an inquest is hilariously wrong. Rose and Danielson also have this Batman-Alfred thing going on. Danielson is hysterical as he unemotionally explains why he has been drinking the expensive brandy. So fun!"
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Katy Walsh

Chicago On Stage- Somewhat Recommended

"...If you are a Sayers fan, you are likely to find Whose Body? highly pleasing. The performers embody every character, even the broad caricatures like Sugg, with great attention to making them as real as possible. (One of my favorite tiny moments involves a character simply called "Slavic Lady" who is engagingly portrayed by Voit.) If you can take or leave this genre, Whose Body? is not likely to convert you into a fan. Though it is certainly fun to watch actors of this caliber having such a great time, I prefer more nuanced and surprising mysteries rather than one whose answer I knew before intermission."
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Karen Topham

Picture This Post- Highly Recommended

"...In this writer's view, Limoncelli’s adaptation and Hutchinson’s direction pull off an impressive balance of levity and gravity. Though occasionally the actors converse with such passion and speed, and in such thick accents, that they become nearly incomprehensible to American ears, their performances are never less than splendid and bring the audience right into the action. All of this plays out on Alan Dohanue’s puzzle box of a stage, three well-appointed rooms at three separate levels, each of which doubles as at least two locations, with multiple staircases, hidden compartments, and more. This critic expects theater and mystery fans of all stripes will find Lifeline Theatre’s Whose Body? a jolly good time."
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Harold Jaffe