La Luna | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Opportunities to see world-class experimental theater in Chicago are few and far between. But for three years running Chopin Theatre director Zygmunt Dyrkacz has brought Poland's astonishing image-based Teatr Cogitatur from Katowice to Wicker Park for the U.S. premieres of its shadowy, hypnotic pieces. Writer-director Witold Izdebski's La Luna ostensibly follows a group of bohemian tenement dwellers banding together against a host of unnamed menacing forces. The more overt the content, however, the more the work verges on cliche: what succeeds in Izdebski's ritualized scenes is the cryptic and oblique--a man throwing wine contemptuously in a mannequin's face, a woman blowing dust from her palm toward a hooded figure. These meticulous images emerge silently from total darkness, then recede after a matter of seconds, like fleeting phantoms from the depths of the unconscious. Beginning this weekend Teatr Cogitatur will perform a second piece, Aztec Hotel, in repertory with La Luna, providing an embarrassment of riches. Through 9/4: Sat 8 PM, Sun 4 PM. Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division, 773-278-1500. $18-$25.

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