Flight | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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History is littered with great art sunk by censorship, but oppressive regimes have also incidentally suppressed a fair amount of flawed work. Like Prokofiev and Shostakovich, novelist-playwright Mikhail Bulgakov suffered mightily under Stalin; but in the case of the Russian civil war drama Flight, quashed midrehearsal in 1929, Uncle Joe might have done him a favor. It's not that the play isn't fascinating historically or topical today--it's just in need of a ruthless edit. Even cut down, Bulgakov's sprawling bunker scene and act-long epilogue would still be more than any company could politely chew, and directors Dori Robinson and Nick Minas (who's normally dead-on) fail to make the necessary absurdist adjustments. Thus the Blindfaith Theatre cast and designers, especially costumer Jill Van Brussel, waste good work on a show that's never surreal or hyperactive enough, and a few crucial actors languish in two-note performances. Through 3/6: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM. Athenaeum Theatre, first-floor studio theater, 2936 N. Southport, 312-902-1500. $12-$15.

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