Though he's mentioned nowhere in the press materials, the spirit of James Joyce hovers over Compagnie Philippe Genty's latest production. He's present not just in the show's title, Dedale--the French name for the mythic hero Daedalus, with whom Joyce strongly identified--and in its description as "the story of a modern-day Ulysses" but in its search for the eternal in the temporal, the mysterious in the mundane, the graceful in the grotesque. This Paris-based troupe, which last appeared here in 1996, has always used everyday objects--hats, umbrellas, boxes--to create stage pictures of surpassing beauty, but past shows have been more reminiscent of Rene Magritte or, in their funnier moments, of Charlie Chaplin. This time the company's transcendently beautiful mixture of dance, theater, puppetry, and silent comedy could pass for one of Stephen Dedalus's dreams--or Leo Bloom's or Molly's. Dedale transforms even the most tiresome aspects of daily life--slamming doors, passing crowds, listless lovers--into catalysts for epiphanies. Navy Pier, Skyline Stage, 600 E. Grand, 773-722-5463 or 312-559-1212. Opens Thursday, June 10, 8 PM. Through June 12: Friday, 8 PM; Saturday, 2 and 8 PM. $16-$28; half-price for children.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Thierry Sourd.