Like a desiccated blossom fluttering from the pages of a dusty leather-bound tome, Blindfaith Theatre's exquisite staging of stories and poems by Chicago expatriate Edward Gorey wafts back onstage, perfectly preserved despite a three-year hiatus. All the players from the 2003 cast are back, and if anything their characterizations are better than before, like well-worn raiments trained to the shapes of their wearers. Jill van Brussel's costumes and William Crowley's set and props, a riot of black-and-white blazonry, place things firmly in the vaguely turn-of-the-century, vaguely Atlantic-rim realm where Gorey's dissipated gentry amble toward their gruesome, comically inevitable ends. A string quartet tucked just offstage superlatively balances mood music and sound effects, breathing ghostly life into the whole. The Viaduct's cavernous, shadowy space dwarfs everyone, but as it happens this serves the show uncannily well, reducing even the adult characters to children and bringing both the sinister and the silly aspects into sharp relief. Adapted by Stephen Currens, set to music by David Aldrich, and directed by Nicolas Minas. a Through 12/17: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 4 PM, no show Thu-Fri 11/23-11/24, Viaduct Theater, 3111 N. Western, 773-250-7130, $18-$20.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Tabitha Pederson.