"The Millionairess" (ShawChicago): A Rich Screwball Comedy!

"The Millionairess" (ShawChicago):  A Rich Screwball Comedy!

ShawChicago presents THE MILLIONAIRESS.  Epifania Fitzfassenden is a rich lady.  She has everything that money can buy... but love.  Her boyfriend uses her for her wealthy connections.  And her tennis player husband, Alastair is cheating on her.  Epifania decides to make some changes in her life.  She is going to get divorced and get a job.  When Epifania and Alastair hire the same lawyer, getting divorced gets a whole lot funnier. THE MILLIONAIRESS is a screwball comedy of how the rich get richer.

Playwright George Bernard Shaw pokes fun of the upper class.  He creates an absurdly self-absorbed Epifania and confronts her with other strong-minded personalities. It is a madcap reality-check!  Shaw’s Act 1 unfolds like a light-hearted romp introducing us to Epifania’s world.  Then the remaining acts shift into some social commentary without losing the focal point of the wacky, poor little rich girl.  Shaw’s timeless dialogue zips with witty quips.  Under the direction of Robert Scogin, Lydia Berger Gray (Epifania) has fun with this part.  Berger Grays plays its deliciously haughty and out-of-touch.  She zings the one liners dripping with diamonds and disdain. Her sharp delivery is comedy gold.  The entire large cast gets into the act.  In particular, a hilarious Joseph Bowen (Julius) brings his signature bumbly buffoonery as a dubious attorney.  As the new lovebirds, a snarky Gary Alexander and a lovely-smiling Jhenai Mootz bring playful fun to the proceedings. And with pure heightened buffoonery, Skip Lundby (Joe) and Mary Michell (Joe’s wife) have an amusing blue-collar meltdown over Epifania’s intrusion.   

ShawChicago’s tradition is to entertain through public readings with stellar casts.  It’s always a no frill and no thrill stage.  Music stands, seats and actors fill the stage.  The actors often wear clothes that resemble their character interpretation.  I don’t believe they are actually costumes.  In this particular show and in this picture, Berger Gray wears this divine art deco style coat.  It was perfect for the part and I absolutely loved it!  THE MILLIONAIRESS dressed to impress is a fun evening out!

Running Time:  Two hours and ten minutes includes an intermission

At Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn

Written by George Bernard Shaw

Directed by Robert Scogin

Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm

Mondays at 7pm

Thru November 5th

Buy Tickets at www.shawchicago.com

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