Fire | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Plays within plays have become a staple of modern theater. With this retelling of the myth of Prometheus, playwright Alice Austen takes the shtick a step further, presenting a workshop within a workshop. Art about the artistic process is almost always more satisfying to the artist than anybody else, but even relatively speaking Fire, developed at Chicago Dramatists and Famous Door's Women at the Door 2003, seems solipsistically enclosed. Only surrogate writer Alex and his dying father--Harry Eddleman and William J. Norris, both in good form--register much reality onstage, Norris largely through sheer force of archetype. Director Steve Scott does what he can with Austen's cut-and-dried crosscutting between mirror and mirrored, and if her major thematic thrust makes something suspiciously Christlike of a pagan demigod, who can blame her? That's pretty much how Jesus was invented. Through 3/27: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM. Prop Thtr, 3502-4 N. Elston, 773-539-7838. $20-$25.

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