A Global Match-Up of Chaos
If you like slapstick, and side-splitting comedy that is boldly infused with political satire and wordplay, "The Doppelgänger" will amuse your hilarity with chaotic madness and hilarious antics. While, the need for international greed, internal corruption, nudity and absolute craziness of doors slamming mistaken identities and perfectly timed falling props will make one wonder does it take all of this to make a profit?
Apparently, playwright Matthew-Lee Erlbach thought so when he created the circus-like absurdity with its very colorful cast of characters to get the critical copper deal signed that only seems to make the rich, wealthy while lacking the financial growth of the ordinary employee.
Rainn Wilson is well-known for his role as "Dwight Schrute" on NBC's award-winning comedy "The Office" plays the lead as a very affluent British businessman by the name of Thomas Irdley. Rainn also plays his doppelganger Jimmy Peterson who is a school teacher visiting from Quincy IL in this over the top production "The Doppelgänger."
This international farce takes us through the back channels of global politics to make some back-room deals to shape the world the few, the proud and the greedy at Steppenwolf Theatre.
The overworked and very amusing maid Rosie Guerekoyame who is a political activist incognito played by Celeste M. Cooper works for Thomas who is in pursuit of justice to save the African workers with her agenda for the summit meeting that is to take place in the Irdley home.
Rosie, plan is in jeopardy when Thomas mistakably takes a tranquilizer that was meant for a zebra and, is knocked out cold to attend his meeting. However, upon realizing what happened to Thomas, she comes up with a plan that will keep the leaders meeting going without a hitch when she notices Irdley doppelganger Jimmy, could substitute for Thomas. Jimmy isn't buying the ideal.
The fun begins with a lot of persuasion from Rosie and even though Jimmy reluctantly gives in to her wishes the challenge has now become to keep Irdley out of sight, by hiding him in multiple places in the house.
Talk about Carol Burnett antics; this play has it all! "The Doppelgänger" is a crazy comedy with some one-line zingers that will keep you entertained and wiping away a few tears of laughter. Rainn Wilson stands out because of his witty character, and he doesn't disappoint.
He is funny, believable and a downright wild and crazy guy in this play. Each actor in "The Doppelgänger" plays a convincible part that helps provides a credible flow to the story. However, Celeste Cooper whom we have seen in several plays does a fantastic job bringing the farce together and making the transition between the characters work.
Director Tina Landau does an excellent job bringing the funny and bizarre Matthew-Lee Erlbach play together. Erlbach who is also an actor whose plays include his critically acclaimed solo play, Handbook for an American Revolutionary (Gym at Judson) and Eager to Lose, a Burlesque Farce in Rhyming Verse (Ars Nova). He also volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and runs a writing program he created for single mothers transitioning out of homelessness and prison. It would be nice to have another Doppelgänger like that.
We recommend that you see this unruly comedy of confusion at Steppenwolf!
The cast includes:
Rainn Wilson (Thomas Irdley/Jimmy Peterson)
Celeste M. Cooper (Rosie Guerekoyame)
Audrey Francis (Beatrix Geddes-Renwick)
Ora Jones (Lolade Masaragba)
Sandra Marquez (Theresa Irdley)
James Vincent Meredith (Michel Masaragba)
Michael Accardo (General Stanley Harcourt)
Whit K. Lee (Wen Xiaoping)
Andy Nagraj (Prince Amir Abdullah)
Karen Rodriguez (Marina)
Dan Plehal (Beau D'ouble')
Steppenwolf Presents the World Premiere Production of
The Doppelgänger (an international farce)
By Matthew-Lee Erlbach
Directed by Ensemble Member Tina Landau
Now Playing Through May 27, 2018
Filed under: ChicagoNow