Chicago Theatre Review
The Women at Circle
The Women is fun and clever
The Women by Clare Booth Luce
Directed by Jim Schneider
Circle Theatre, 1010 W. Madison, Oak Park 60302
Runs June 29 – August 14, 2011
Tickets $22 – $26, available at www.circle-theatre.org, (708) 660-9540
Review by Kaylee Holt
The Women, written in the 30’s by Clare Booth Luce, is like an early version of Desperate Housewives; it follows a group of rich socialites and the ups and downs of their love lives. One woman, Mary Haines, is content with what she thinks is a perfect marriage until she discovers that her husband is cheating on her with a shop girl. Madness ensues. Much like Desperate Housewives, The Women may not make any grand, earth-shattering statements about the world; however, it is witty and enjoyable.
The cast of characters is fun, and, quite fittingly, entirely women: though the play centers around women’s relationships with men, not a single male character ever actually appears on stage. Though the play may run a little longer than necessary, the rapport between characters is consistently rapid and clever, keeping the story from dragging. There are also a few fight scenes thrown in, which are entertaining, if a bit over-choreographed. The saga plays out against a beautiful set, complete with genuine art deco props.
It’s noted in the director’s note that the play has been accused of being misogynistic, and, it’s true, it won’t be winning any awards for feminism. However, the story seems so aware of this fact that I didn’t find it offensive. The Women is just a fun, light way to spend an evening, full of beauty and wit.