Alert the blue hairs and suburbanites: Theatre on the Lake just got an edge. Rather than its typical lighthearted dramas and done-to-death musicals, this year the stage hosts an eclectic mix of recent hits by adventurous off-Loop companies--for cheap. Starting Tuesday, the Neo-Futurists present five performances of K., Greg Allen's adaptation of Franz Kafka's sinister farce, in which Joseph K.--a hapless nobody, once again played by the sublime Paul Tamney--finds himself arrested for unknown crimes. Even the police and magistrates are clueless as to the true nature of the charges against him. In his staging of Kafka's paranoid misadventure, Allen smartly melds his own sensibilities with Kafka's, turning the usually overlooked dynamics of live theater to his advantage: when actors scurry about changing the set between scenes, for example, poor Joseph K. watches in bewildered horror, unable to comprehend how he can go from his apartment to police headquarters in five seconds. Allen doesn't have all the freedom he had at his home base--the family-values muckety-mucks won't allow Joseph K. to take off his underwear--but rest assured the blow-job scene remains. The times they are a-changin'. Thank God. Theatre on the Lake, Fullerton and Lake Shore, 312-742-7994. Opens Tuesday, July 15, 8 PM. Through July 19: Wednesday-Saturday, 8 PM. $9.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): theater still photo by Jim Alexander Newberry.