Ghostwritten | Goodman Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Ghostwritten Member Picks The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through May 3 2009

Naomi Iizuka's new play definitely got me thinking. By recasting the Rumpelstiltskin story as a contemporary fairy tale--in which a young American trekking postwar Vietnam promises her firstborn to a native witch in exchange for fabulous culinary secrets--Iizuka raises fascinating questions about family, the arrogance of empire, the perception of exoticism, the strangeness of international adoptions, and the way war intertwines adversaries even against their will. But the questions come wrapped in an aggressive, occasionally infuriating whimsy. Iizuka and director Lisa Portes have over-Ruhled even Sarah Ruhl. The few lovely non sequiturs they produce are just a fraction of overall output; an entire character is given over to goofy-cute nonsense. Much of this, I suppose, is justified by the fairy-tale conceit. Some of it may be a symptom of new-play messiness. But it gets daunting before long, fascinating questions notwithstanding. --Tony Adler

Price: $10-$39

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