Kiss of the Spider Woman | Trap Door Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Kiss of the Spider Woman The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through July 26 2015

In one of the many, many moments Kander and Ebb drive home the main point of their subtle-as-teargas 1993 musical, the title character sings to a pair of political prisoners, "You’ve got to learn how not to see." When life’s too awful, you see, reality is best ignored in lieu of escapist fantasy—whether Hollywood musicals, Marxist ideology, or morphine. Tell that to Malala Yousafzai. Jessica Harling, director of Benevolent Theatre’s misguided revival, seems to have taken the Spider Woman’s advice too much to heart, choosing to overlook that a cramped, bare-bones set lit mostly with broad washes can’t create the sense of mystery or allure this piece requires. And despite some terrific singing, an all-out production in such rudimentary surroundings feels decidedly unconvincing. —Justin Hayford

Price: $25, $20 students and seniors

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