|Simon Callow in his one man show The Mystery of Charles Dickens written by Peter Ackroyd.|
When it comes to my favorites, I usually hedge my bets. In movies I often cite my big 3 of English Patient, Casablanca, and Doctor Zhivago. In novels, War and Peace is front and center but often feel compelled to also mention Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad or Moby-Dick. But in Theatre, there is one night that stands above all others and I've spent many a magical night in a darkened theatre gazing upon a footlit stage.
That play was a one-man show starring the sensational Simon Callow in The Mystery of Charles Dickens written by the brilliant Peter Ackroyd. I still get chills remembering that magnificent performance.
|The prolific writer Peter Ackroyd. I recently finished his splendid Shakespeare bio.|
As I often say, the externalities can have a huge impact from both the performer's and audience's perspective. This was in December 2001 not long after the 9-11 ordeal. Simon Callow arrived in town already well known to theatre goers for his many interesting movie performances with the local press hyping the superlative reviews from his London performances. December in Chicago has it's own magic and the venue was our wonderful Chicago Shakespeare Theatre which was then only 2 years old and a perfect space for such a performance.
|Chicago Shakespeare Theatre at Navy Pier|
Lynn and I still consider Callow's Mystery of Charles Dickens performance the greatest we have ever seen and still talk about it every Christmas.
Do you have a night of Theatre that stands above all others?