Festen | Steep Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Festen Closing (Theater and Galleries) Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through June 11 2011

The Dogme 95 manifesto committed a group of Danish filmmakers to a pared-down style--location shooting, handheld cameras, natural light--that seems unlikely to lend itself well to the innate artificiality of the stage. But this semi-minimalist ensemble piece, directed by Jonathan Berry and based on a 1998 Dogme film, reminds us that theater's really all about the acting. Accusations made by Christian (a febrile Kevin Stark) at a "curious birthday party" held in honor of his father, Helge (Norm Woodel, terrifying in his cold-bloodedness), aren't particularly shocking--it's the reactions of family and friends that lay bare the repressed pattern of their lives. From-the-gut performances leave it all on the table. --Kerry Reid

Price: $20-$22

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