Hostage Song | Strawdog Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Hostage Song Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through June 9 2012

As the Broadway musical continues to devolve into a vehicle for PG blockbusters and jukebox rehashes, it's refreshing to see efforts as brazen and unconventional as Hostage Song. The challenging, severe indie-rock musical by Clay McLeod Chapman and Kyle Jarrow deals with an international hostage crisis. Mirroring the familiar news reports out of Iraq and Afghanistan (executed businessman Nick Berg and current Al Qaeda hostage Warren Weinstein come to mind), Chapman's book focuses on two kidnap victims, a reporter and an independent contractor, who take comfort in each other as they wait for death. The hostages and their families have stirring monologues, and Jarrow's music is competent, but neither Chapman nor director Ronan Marra can justify the form: this Signal Ensemble Theatre production feels exploitive and unserious as soon as the band strikes up. Constant, grim comedy further undercuts the dire subject matter. —Dan Jakes

Price: $15-$20

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