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Lady Madeline

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Mickle Maher's tragically hip 90-minute adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher" for Steppenwolf for Young Adults aims to subvert more than frighten, flippantly depicting a man's obsession with burying his twin sister prematurely. As the deluded Roderick, Matthew Krause erupts in silent-movie mugging; Tracy Michelle Arnold literally deconstructs the pre- and posthumous sister, Madeline; and Kirk Anderson doggedly depicts their supposedly rational, dithering, clueless visitor. Andre Pluess and Ben Sussman's score boasts haunting ballads, great sound effects, and a finale blatantly derived from Philip Glass. Instead of giving an old spell new power, Maher's talky mockery and Jessica Thebus's sardonic staging dare us to find Poe scary. Through 2/25: Sat 11 AM, Sun 2/19, 11 AM, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, downstairs theater, 1650 N. Halsted, 312-335-1650, $12.

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