Hamletmachine | Trap Door Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Hamletmachine Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through Feb. 26 2011

Hamletmachine is a machine for generating Hamlets. In the course of a long process that culminated in 1977, German theater artist Heiner Muller took lines, characters, themes, and motifs from Shakespeare's play, mixed them with an angsty chunk of the rest of Western civilization, and created a brief, jagged, postmodern text that offers very little guidance but near-infinite possibilities for performance. Taking up the challenge, Trap Door Theatre has given us Hamlet as a kind of neurasthenic opera, featuring one Gertrude, two Ophelias, and a trio of Hamlets who twitter at one another in their sexually charged ennui. Much of it is tedious or--as when Gertrude and Hamlet are dealing with their incest issues--obvious. But every once in a while Max Truax's production taps into archetype and an ugly beauty. Just be patient. --Tony Adler

Price: $20, two-for-one Thursdays


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