'The March' ★★★

Aside from being a ruthless general who put a stake through the heart of the Old South, William Tecumseh Sherman was quite the student of human nature. Indeed, as played by Harry Groener in Frank Galati's rich, erudite and high-minded (if chilly) new stage adaptation of E.L. Doctorow's 2005 novel, Sherman delivers soliloquies with a decidedly Shakespearean air. And the prominence that Galati and his cast of 26 actors give to Sherman¿s musings on the nature of war and humanity are entirely in keeping with Doctorow's remarkable novel ¿ a scrupulously researched and exquisitely expressed account of Sherman's march through the South with 60,000 enforcers of the Union will. -- Chris Jones Through June 10 at Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St.; $20-$78 at 312-335-1650 and steppenwolf.org
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