And So I May Return | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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And So I May Return



And So I May Return, Plasticene, at the Viaduct Theater. Plasticene's brand of physical theater fills the cavernous Viaduct space in the company's seventh show, directed by Dexter Bullard. The audience is limited to 48 people each night, who enter in groups of six or seven to witness vignettes in different areas of the theater. As the show goes on, the performers begin moving about the space, interacting more intensely with both the physical environment and one another; meanwhile spectators are free to move about too, following whichever thread suits their fancy.

Initially familiar scenes--a lonely woman clutches her pillow and tosses about a bed in brokenhearted agony, for example--become more hallucinatory and dangerous. Mark Comiskey and Larry Underwood fight hilariously over a twine-encased tin box on the battleground of a table with sliding leaves, and Sharon Gopfert and Julie Beauvais don bridal attire and clamber over bookcases and metal scaffolding with girlish abandon. Dominic Conti and Tere Parkes play two lovers acting out with scary ferocity the dynamics of a tempestuous relationship.

As soon as a scene takes on recognizable narrative shadings, something happens to move it in an unexpected direction. But though there's no clear story, over the course of the show the themes of possession, obsession, partnership, and rivalry are sharply delineated. Special kudos to Dalia Cidzikaite and Joe Gerrits, the tireless stagehands who move the show's set pieces around with precision and aplomb.

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