(Hedy Weiss’s article appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, 9/29.)
Boxing, that most primal if ritualized form of human conflict, has been the subject of countless plays and movies. And while I confess to being repelled by the real-life horror and brutality of the sport, its translation into theater is often thrilling and compulsively watchable.
The latest entry into the high-stakes competition for this fearsome roped-in stage is Michael Cristofer’s “Man in the Ring,” now in its world premiere at Court Theatre. It is a stunner — a fierce, poetic, profoundly tragic tale based on the true story of six-time world champion Emile Griffith. And it features volcanic but uncannily fluid direction by Charles Newell and his magnificent cast.