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  Why Torture is Wrong and the People Who Love Them at Athenaeum Theatre

Why Torture is Wrong and the People Who Love Them

Athenaeum Theatre
2936 N. Southport Chicago

The 2019 Christopher Durang Season concludes with the hilarious Why Torture is Wrong and the People Who Love Them, a play which turns political humor upside down in a raucous and provocative satire about America's growing homeland "insecurity." It is the story of a young woman suddenly in crisis: Is her new husband, whom she married when drunk, a terrorist? Or just crazy? Or both? Is her father's hobby of butterfly collecting really a cover for his involvement in a shadow government? Honing in on our private terrors both at home and abroad, Durang oddly relieves our fears in this black comedy for an era of yellow, orange and red alerts.

Thru - Dec 15, 2019

Show Type: Comedy

Box Office: 773-935-6875

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  Why Torture is Wrong and the People Who Love Them Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...A meta third act that absolutely should not work, and yet does, leaves us with a powerful meditation on empathy and how we judge people from other countries for expressing outdated gender-based viewpoints that we haven't overcome ourselves. Examples of top-shelf legit satire onstage are few and far between, making this production a must-see show of the season."
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Sheri Flanders

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...To conclude their 2019 season of Christopher Durang’s work, Eclipse Theatre Company chose Why Torture is Wrong and the People Who Love Them, a political comedy that examined the line between jumping to conclusions and dormantly not checking what is hidden in the closet. Even though this text tended to ramble and meander more than Durang’s other works, it sharply poked and prodded our minds about whether the USA’s enemies lie in nations across the sea or in the behaviors of those we share a house and a name with. With direction by Steve Scott, Eclipse has again succeeded in delivering a comedy with relevant issues, presented in an accessible way."
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Sophie Vitello

Third Coast Review - Highly Recommended

"...If you need a respite from the depressing politics of today, I recommend an evening of topsy-turvy politics and zaniness by Eclipse Theatre. They're the company that specializes in one playwright per season and you have the chance to see their final Christopher Durang play, Why Torture is Wrong and the People Who Love Them."
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Nancy Bishop

Chicago On Stage - Not Recommended

"...This play, already very dated, lacks the vibrancy of most of Durang's other works (like the also-dated Beyond Therapy, Eclipse's more successful previous show). When a seemingly oblivious wife and mother is the only character in the play who is remotely relatable, something has not worked. And when a play satirizing the paranoia of post-9/11 America just seems to pile on gratuitous and repetitive violence, the satire has not worked. Maybe there is nothing Scott could have done to rescue this show after all. It's just not quality Durang."
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Karen Topham

City Pleasures - Recommended

"...When something this wild is that wonderful, you can expect praise to flow far and wide. Eclipse Theatre's season closes big this winter with Christopher Durang's wonderfully absurdist jewel, Why Torture is Wrong and the People Who Love Them, now playing to contented audiences at the Athenaeum. The title tells both everything about the play and nothing about it. It's not until after you've experienced this wise and raucous story do you realize how appropriate that gangly handle is."
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Mitchell Oldham

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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