Karen Finley | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Karen Finley

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Early on, Karen Finley's fierce, foul, ranting performance pieces made her the oracle of the American id. Then Senator Jesse Helms's anti-art witch hunt turned her into the id's own martyr. More recently she's stepped back a bit, to paint the id's portrait. Her 2004 play, George and Martha (later published as an illustrated novel), explored the nation's hidden oedipal drama by imagining a steamy/sick/tortured/silly affair between President Bush and Martha Stewart. In this double bill Finley's going deep with Laura Bush and Terri Schiavo. The Dreams of Laura Bush uses narrative and projected "dream drawings" to study Mrs. Dubya. In The Passion of Terri Schiavo "a live-action ink painting becomes the abstracted soul projection of an American Culture obsessed with saving" Florida's most controversial vegetable. a Opens Wed 1/3, 7:30 PM. Through 1/7: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 2:30 PM, Bailiwick Repertory, Bailiwick Arts Center, 1229 W. Belmont, 773-883-1090, $20-$25.

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