Abe's in a Bad Way | Free Street Theater, Pulaski Park | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Abe's in a Bad Way The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Fridays, Saturdays. Continues through April 17 2010

The title is all wrong, the teen ensemble is amateurish, and a guitar was desperately out of tune at the show I saw. But this psychological portrait of Abraham Lincoln is also remarkable for its displays of formal sophistication and emotional power. Clocking in at less than an hour, the piece starts with the Great Emancipator's assassination, then moves into his mortally wounded brain, imagining his thoughts as he struggles with his past, his legacy, and his impending death. In Anita Evans's staging, Lincoln's psychic movement from shock to acceptance is accomplished through a haunting soundscape--created in part by homemade long-string instruments, which look like harps but sound like theremins--and odd but compelling images. Just the sight of Free Street's earnest, gorgeous, committed young multiracial cast is a moving reminder of Lincoln's indispensibility to America. --Tony Adler

Price: $15 or pay what you can

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