ShawChicago ‘s “concert series” is an admirable concept, but one rather difficult to appreciate when sitting through its nearly three-hour-long fourteenth-season opener “Getting Married.” It would seem that Shaw’s 1908 comedic meditation on the merits and pitfalls of holy matrimony would lend itself well to the staged reading format, with its rich language and smart social commentary, at once terribly clever and a bit salacious. Unfortunately, it never quite picks up the momentum needed to keep an audience engaged, and much of the inherent humor gets buried under lengthy discourse. The actors put forth a great effort (though when “offstage”—seated directly behind the music stands from which they read when “onstage”—even they begin to fidget and wander at times, adding to the audience’s distraction) and the company’s mission to keep Shaw alive certainly has its merit—but theory and practice just don’t quite gel here, and the act of listening to Shaw’s work becomes more of a burden than the joy it was intended to be. (Valerie Jean Johnson)
At the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn, (773)477-8088. This production is now closed.