Exiles | Lacuna Lofts | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Exiles Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Aug. 27 2011

James Joyce's only play predates the wild experimentation of Ulysses, but gets a hyper-stylized treatment in Theatre Y's inventive, intense production. The story concerns a brooding writer who jerks around his devoted common-law wife. By halfway encouraging her to return the romantic advances of his own childhood buddy, he sets up a manipulative, tragically un-passable test of her loyalty. Director Kevin Smith spotlights the play's oppressive sexual politics: The female characters are done up like drag queens, their suppressed emotions bursting out in spasms, shouting fits, and--at the end of each act--explosive lip-sync numbers. Joyce's script has some plodding passages, but the ensemble's commitment, vision, and precision fire up many startling, haunting moments. --Dan Weissmann

Price: $20 suggested donation

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