Oak Park Festival Theatre
June 15-July 13

Chris Daley (left front) as Mozart, Kevin Theis as Salieri and Molly Lyons as
Catherina Cavalieri

"Tremendous acting and staging. Breathtaking transformations,
a tall tale of fiction that will entertain and delight."

Highly Recommended
Suburban Journals of Chicago Inc

reviewed by Ed Vincent

A cacophony of arias mixed with melodic movements, all varying and undulating volumes descending and growing in strength, greets the audience at the start of the play. 
Antonio Salieri declares that music is Gods art.  Kevin Theis in the role of Maestro  Salieri brings life to the art of our self confessed, costumed villan.  The transition that Theis brings to the character, from an aged man with time marked on his demeanor and visage, to a 31-year-old aged Salieri is magical and breathtaking.  Theis takes a turn on stage and with the change of a wig and hat he is transformed as though in a magic show with David Copperfield.

Kevin Theis (standing) as Salieri and Chris Daley as Mozart

The contrast of  characters with Chris Daley as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Kevin Theis as Antonio Salieri is amazing,  an obscene child speaking for the Almighty versus a devout worshiper of the God of art and the Court Composer to the King of Austria.
The play progresses and we find our narrator-Salieri turning more from his love of God to a contempt for God.  He ponders with anguish why a shit talking Mozart and his bottom slapping wife, should receive the favor of and gifts for music from God.  He soon concludes that, "God is my enemy".


 The sets and characters of the play function like frozen in time clichés, with clever and excellent results for the audience.  This is the best Amadeus we have seen and Kevin Theis is charming and talented in his portrayal.

The costumes, lights, special effects and sounds are all top drawer and the cast is great.  You do not want to miss this wonderful live theater and don't forget that children under 12 are free and every kid in town should see this grand production.  Bring food and friends and enjoy the show.

Do read the links at the bottom here to help clear the name of Salieri, because this is fiction.


Peter Shaffer's Tony—award winning drama Amadeus will open the 39th summer season at the Oak Park Festival Theatre on June 15, 2013 at 8:0Opm in Austin Gardens, 167 Forest Avenue in Oak Park.

The winner of both the Drama Desk and Tony awards for Best Play when it was produced on Broadway in l98l, Amadeus tells the story of the death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as told through the eyes of his confessed murderer, Court Composer Antonio Salieri.

Having devoted his life to God in exchange for the ability to become His musical voice on earth, Salieri is stunned to discover that the boorish and infantile Mozart is the instrument through which God has chosen to speak. Consumed with jealousy, the vengeful Salieri turns upon his Creator and sets about trying to silence "the Creature," destroy Mozart’s career at Court and, ultimately, end his life.

Adapted into the Academy Award-winning Best Picture of 1984, Amadeus has stood as one of the finest dramas of the late 20m century and the epic struggle of Man vs. God
that is the centerpiece of this musically—infused piece has made this play one of the most popular shows of all time.

Oak Park Festival Theatre’s production of Amadeus will be directed by Chicago theatre veteran Mark Richard and will feature Kevin Theis as Salieri, Christopher Daley as Mozart, and Meg Warner as his wife Costanze. The ensemble will also feature Jonathan Nichols, David Elliott, Joe Bianco, Chris Aruffo, Mark Plonsky, Pat King and Callie Johnson.

Amadeus will mark Mr. Richard’s fourth outing with OPFT, having appeared in Betrayal, Beyond the Fringe, and Richard III, but his first as director. As artistic director of  City Lit Theater for seven years he adapted and staged novels and stories by a wide range of classic and contemporary writers including Donald Barthelme, Martha Bergland, Raymond Carver, Franz Kafka, Somerset Maugham, Frank O’Connor, Saki, James Stephens, Edith Wharton, and P.G. Wodehouse, picking up three Joseph Jefferson citations for his adaptations. He also directed the revival of Sharon Evans's Portrait of a Shiksa for Live Bait Theater.


Mr. Theis (Salieri) has appeared in numerous productions at OPFT over the years and was last seen in the theatre’s Jeff recommended production of Someone Who ’ll Watch Over Me and in the title role in last summer’s critically acclaimed staging of Richard III .

He has also worked at the Goodman Theatre, Next, Lifeline, Seanachai, Peninsula Players and Buffalo Theatre, among others.

Mr. Daley (Mozart) and Ms. Warner (Costanze) make their OPFT debuts with this
production. Mr. Daley recently worked on Stones in His Pockets at Northlight Theatre, Glass Menagerie with Redtwist and has appeared with Lifeine Theatre, Fox Valley Repertory, Noble Fool Theatricals and Circle Theatre. Ms. Warner (Costanze) recently appeared in Rivendell’s smash hit production of Wrens under the direction of Karen Kessler and is a 20ll B.F.A. graduate from Ball State.

Previews for Amadeus will be performed on June 13-l4 at 8:00pm. Opening Night is Saturday, June l5 at 8:00 pm. The show will run Thursday —- Saturday at 8pm, Sundays at 7 pm. There will be no performance Thursday July 4. There will also be special Wednesday performances on July 3rd and 10th at 8pm. Amadeus will close on July 13th.

For tickets or to otheiwise contact the theatre, call (708) 445-4440 or e-mail
Oak Park Festival Theatre is a professional theater company working under contract with Actors’ Equity Association, producing the works of William Shakespeare as they were meant to be staged — as thrilling, living, popular theater, al fresco in pastoral Austin Gardens to augment the imagery and poetry of the Bard’s English language.

Over the
years, the Theatre has expanded offerings to include classics and other challenging productions outdoors each summer in Austin Gardens and indoors during the spring and fall at the Madison Street Theatre at l0l0 W. Madison in Oak Park.

Festival Theatre was founded in 1975 by Oak Park resident Marion Karczmar. A line of distinguished subsequent artistic directors has remained true to the mission of the theater with popular productions of the greatest works in the Bard’s language. Next year, the theatre will celebrate its 40th anniversary.

Kevin Theis as Antonio Salieri

Kevin Theis (standing) as Salieri and Chris Daley as Mozart

Information on the real Antonio Salieri

Mozart Meets the Masons

Close to home and intimate.  Free parking for the
night shows right across the street from Austin
Gardens.  Austin Gardens is right behind the
Lake Theater on Lake and Forest Ave.

© Suburban Journals of Chicago
published by Suburban Journals of  Chicago Inc.http://www.suburbanjournals.com/2013/