1000 Airplanes on the Roof | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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1000 Airplanes on the Roof

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This work from composer Philip Glass premiered in Vienna in July and is now making its U.S. debut in performances across the country, performed live by the Philip Glass Ensemble. 1000 Airplanes on the Roof concerns the story of "M," who is walking home from a date when a spaceship suddenly picks him up and begins performing a variety of experiments on him. Although M is programmed to forget the experience, his subconscious is left disturbed, and the piece deals with his anxiety and fear over whether or not he should tell anyone about it, and the transformation that follows. The text is by David Henry Hwang, of Broadway's M. Butterfly fame, and the design is by Jerome Sirlin, designer of, among other things, Madonna's "Who's That Girl" tour. Glass describes the work as "a moving picture behind a live cast," which in this case is made by 12 slide projectors creating three-dimensional images behind the work's solo performer (Patrick O'Connell and Jodi Long alternate for the present tour). The work's special effects are said to be truly amazing, including images of M floating in three-dimensional space. Glass won't be present for these performances, contrary to earlier reports. Monday through Wednesday, 7:30 PM, Centre East, 7701 N. Lincoln, Skokie; 673-6300 or 902-1500.

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