Chicago Stage Style Review

Joe Stead has enjoyed a lifelong passion for the theatre, which has involved acting, directing, producing, designing and reviewing since 1984.  He served as founder, producer and Artistic Director of Curtain Up Productions in Baltimore, Maryland and Four Star Players in Tampa, Florida. As a critic, he has reviewed everything from Broadway to community theatre and major regional theatres throughout the United States. Here is what he wrote about A Dangerous Woman: “Provocateur, actress, daredevil, poet, spiritualist, equestrian, celebrity ghost, and American original.  These are several of the multi facets of the unique and utterly fascinating creature the world once knew as Adah Isaacs Menken.  The much heralded “Naked Lady” was something of a fiery comet that burned bright, large and fast during the Civil War era.  That light tragically burned out after a mere 33 years, but it’s hard to believe there would ever have been a Marilyn Monroe or any of the other future deeply idolized and larger than life femme fatales had there not first been “The Menken”. A new biography by Michael and Barbara Foster is titled A Dangerous Woman: The Life, Loves and Scandals of Adah Isaacs Menken, 1835-1868, America’s Original Superstar”.  The years of research that the Fosters have spent detailing not only Adah’s life, but also the era in which she lived and the people who were affected by her, is truly impressive. . . A Dangerous Woman paints a rich and complex portrait of the legend that was Adah Isaacs Menken.


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