Hotel Cassiopeia | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Hotel Cassiopeia

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Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to create a theatrical meditation on the life and work of shy American collagist Joseph Cornell. The intimacy, delicacy, and stillness of his famous boxes seem at odds with playwright Charles L. Mee's love of brassy pop-cultural pastiche and director Anne Bogart's highly physicalized stagings for her SITI Company. Their last collaboration, Bobrauschenbergamerica, boasted at least a brash celebratory tone. But despite some gorgeous stage pictures evoking Cornell's work and a poignant turn from Barney O'Hanlon as the artist, this piece doesn't find a sinewy narrative or aesthetic thread. Its rather limpid pacing and coy winks at Cornell's iconography will confuse those who don't know his work well and frustrate those who do. --Kerry Reid a Through 12/10: Wed-Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 3 and 8 PM, Sun 2:30 and 7:30 PM, no show Thu 11/23, Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis, 773-753-4472, $36-$54.

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