Haymaker | Neo-Futurarium | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Haymaker Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater) Image

When: Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through July 11 2014

The Neo-Futurists are nothing if not self-reflexive. Creators of Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, a show that bestows aliases on audience members while the actors play themselves, they love building M.C. Escheresque entertainments where every new element is another stairway torquing back on itself, forthrightly announcing its own artifice. The 100-minute Haymaker is a messy, occasionally delightful case in point. When he was 13 years old, Too Much Light contributor Trevor Dawkins wrote Tears of Shanghai, a Raiders of the Lost Ark-inspired screenplay in which fearless hero Russell Dakota takes on a host of gangsters and Nazis while falling for the mysterious Elona Levingston. Now 27, Dawkins is reviving the script onstage with an ensemble whose eight other members question, resist, and overrule him as much as they cooperate. Characters are constructed and abandoned, or migrate among performers. Gender and ethnic issues arise. Tensions develop between Dawkins and his real-life significant other, Brenda Arellano, who comes to reject both Elona's perfection and Dawkins's demand that she embody it. Dawkins himself ricochets between ages and selves, trying to get a handle on the adult complexities that are being introduced into his adolescent fantasy. ("I wrote it when I was 13," he keeps explaining.) Continue reading >>

Price: $20, $10 for students and seniors, pay-what-you-can on Thursdays

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