But it's not only the bad stuff that comes in pairs. Reader critics suggest you see two musicals inspired by historical events. Albert Williams praises the “first-rate theatrical storytelling" of Lookingglass Theatre's new Eastland, based on the disastrous 1915 wreck of a steamer in the Chicago River. And Kerry Reid says strong acting and a lovely score distinguish BoHo Theatre’s revival of Floyd Collins, which recounts the media frenzy that ensued when the titular spelunker became trapped below ground in 1925.
Paris Opéra Ballet provides a taste of European cultural history (i.e., Giselle) along with newer works. Meanwhile, back in the USSR: Strange Tree Group is staging an excellent adaptation of Nikolai Erdman's 1928 satire The Suicide, about a regular Russian joe whose plan to off himself is exploited by others. The Strange Tree version is called Goodbye Cruel World.
Female playwrights figure big this week. Cheryl Hall's Dowager Daughters of Transcendence is a charmingly off-kilter all-female comedy, but Lauren Gunderson’s Exit Pursued by a Bear falls prey to an abundance of metatheatrical references and a simplistic conceit. And Crystal Skillman's Wild offers a rather pedestrian notion of what constitutes reckless behavior in modern romance (though Justin Hayford's capsule review has some hilarious passages).
Definition Theatre Company makes Tarell Alvin McCraney's The Brothers Size the subject of its debut production, with mixed results. Having sat through its entirety, Keith Griffith knows that LiveWire Chicago Theatre’s annual Visionfest offers an uneven selection of short plays and performance works this year. Finally, the Mammals' Mexican Wrestling Macbeth suffers from soggy slapstick in Zac Thompson's estimation, but the central gag in this tale of luchadores vying for roles in the Scottish play is kind of delicious.
Allegra Kirkland contributed to this post.