Better Than Broadway

On his recent trip through Chicago, the Wall Street Journal‘s drama critic Terry Teachout came to see The Farnsworth Invention. Today we got to see what he thought about the show, and well, it was great moment. This is how any theatre company hopes a national review will read, that’s for sure! An excerpt:

What is it that makes Chicagoland theater so special—and so different from theater in New York? If I had to sum it up in one sentence, I’d be stuck for words. If, on the other hand, I could send you to a show that embodies the differences between America’s two great theater towns, I might well pick TimeLine Theatre Company’s production of Aaron Sorkin’s “The Farnsworth Invention,” a play that didn’t fully convince me when I first saw it three years ago on Broadway but which I bought hook, line and sinker when I saw it again last week in Chicago. … TimeLine’s spare, bare-bones staging, directed by Nick Bowling … scrapes all the slickness off Mr. Sorkin’s script and infuses it with a surging physical vitality that knocked me off my feet.

Read the full Wall Street Journal review, headlined “Better Than Broadway,” here …

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  1. Stephen Tallackson

    My wife and I saw the Farnsworth Invention on June 11th. We thought it was excellent. However, I had one major criticism of the play. My recollection is that late in the play the Patent Court judge rules against Farnsworth and in favor of RCA scientist’s patent for TV. Yet the historical notes in the playbill says that in fact the Patent Court judge ruled for Farnsworth in 1935 and that RCA signed a licensing agreement with Farnsworth right after that. Thus, the play gives the misleading impression that Farnsworth lost and, presumably, died in poverty. He may well have died in obscurity, not being known as the “father of TV”, but I would assume the licensing fees he got from RCA enabled him to dabble in the research on fusion that he devoted the rest of his life to after 1935.