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The House That Swift Built

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Jonathan Swift was a mass of contradictions. An Irishman desperate for a place in English government, he ended up championing Irish rights against English mismanagement. A misanthrope, he served as dean of a Dublin cathedral for 30 years. A rationalist, he descended into madness. In Russian playwright Gregory Gorin's fantasy, Swift's death is staged each year as a public event, and the play shows the writer's literary creations and past loves visiting him in his final hours. This would seem a rich forum for exploring his paradoxical life, but despite some hallucinatory flourishes, Gorin's script is meandering and featureless. Directors Luda Lopatina and Dale Goulding can't find a coherent style for this Red Square debut, failing to unite the uneven cast. Through 2/5: Sat 8 PM, Sun 6 PM, Athenaeum Theatre, main stage, 2936 N. Southport, 312-902-1500, $20.

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