October 7, 2011
No glamorous ghosts haunt director Gary Griffin's human-scaled, Chicago-style production of "Follies." And unlike the current Broadway revival of James Goldman and Stephen Sondheim's musical masterwork, the production on Navy Pier puts the action on a thrust stage, where there is no easy remove for anyone. The show is about a reunion of showgirls and their stage-door Johnnies in an old theater about to be demolished, a place where life's turnstiles have closed for good. Here it belongs to the women - Susan Moniz's sad-eyed, ever-hopeful Sally, Caroline O'Connor's devastating Phyllis. As Carlotta, Hollis Resnik has forged a character of unexpected but thrilling strength. On opening night on Navy Pier, the show was stopped several times for emotional ovations - Griffin has created a "Follies" with real human consequence.
- CHRIS JONES
Through Nov. 13 at Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier; $44-$75 at 312-595-5600 or chicagoshakes.com