Miss Julie, Court Theatre

Court Theatre at the University of Chicago
November 6, 1994 – December 18, 1994

As Jean the valet, with Kate Collins as Miss Julie (PHOTO: Chicago Tribune)

Critical Response

“As the man who ultimately refuses to become Miss Julie’s victim, Davenport offers a beautifully controlled portrait that is very human. You can feel his instinct for survival, . . . but the lure of the forbidden cannot be denied.”
—Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times (November 14, 1994)

“In Court Theatre’s fascinating revival, however, director Carmen Roman and her revved-up actors abandon photographic reality. Instead, with passion and hunger, they reveal the tortured psyches of their characters’ souls.

The two leads take risks—big risks . . . . Their timing is so rapid-fire they’re apt to vary from performance to performance. But that raw, unpredictable edge helps transform this ‘Miss Julie’ from soporific classic to one of heavy-breathing psychological expressionism.

As the servant Jean, her love object and psychological foil, Johnny Lee Davenport gives one of the most compelling performances of his still young career. Statuesquely handsome, Davenport holds his own with Collins in serve after serve, line after line. He grabs hold of her quick shifts in timing or reality and sometimes tosses back some startling ones of his own.”
—Sid Smith, Chicago Tribune (November 16, 1994)

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