Brecht's Baden Lehrstucke | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Brecht's Baden Lehrstucke

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Bertolt Brecht's early, rarely performed "didactic play" is a 45-minute jumble of vaudeville, poetry, lecture, audience participation, and agitprop that feels as much like 1970s performance art as Weimar cabaret. Interrogating three stranded trans-Atlantic pilots, a Learned Chorus hopes to discover whether technological "advances" actually help mankind or merely fuel our greedy, power-hungry natures. The issues have contemporary urgency, but Red Tape Theatre Company's bare-bones production, stuck in a church social room, is only competently performed, and director James Palmer hasn't orchestrated Brecht's fragments into a satisfying whole. Still, kudos to them for putting theatrical curiosity first and commercial interest a distant second; this is an interesting, challenging show that few will bother to see. Through 8/28: Fri-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 6 PM, Saint Peter's Church, 621 W. Belmont, 312-494-5822, $10.

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