(Hedy Weiss’s article appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, 7/25.)
The British intellectual C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) was a man of many pursuits. A novelist, poet, literary critic, essayist, broadcaster, lecturer, academic (who spent much of his life at Oxford and Cambridge) and medievalist (who shared his interest in this period with his friend J.R.R. Tolkien), he is perhaps best known as the author of “The Screwtape Letters” (a satirical tale in which all the temptations and failings of a human life are examined from the viewpoint of devils) and “The Chronicles of Narnia” (a series of seven fantasy novels that stand as a classic of children’s literature).
In 2008, actor-adapter-director Max McLean brought his production of C.S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters” to the Mercury Theater Chicago, where it became a huge (and surprising) box office hit. Now, in his new one-man show, “C.S. Lewis Onstage: The Most Reluctant Convert,” McLean chronicles the writer’s journey from determined atheist to Christian believer with such wit, grace, braininess and economy that those on either side of the “God spectrum” are sure to delight in it.