Line | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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In Israel Horovitz's 1967 play, five people battle almost to the death for first place in a line, though they have no idea where it leads. Horovitz's view of human dynamics has been interpreted in various ways: as an indictment of American complacency, as a call for individual fulfillment, as a caveat against self-serving anarchy. Wisely, director Aaron Shapiro chooses to stage this enigmatic allegory unrealistically: the stage is dominated by a giddily revolving platform, and even the venue's restrooms and closets figure in the action. This deliberately ambiguous setting focuses attention on the characters' agendas, whose intensity escalates with almost cartoonish swiftness. The ensemble keeps the emotions heartfelt even as they inspire horrifying acts. Through 11/6: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM. Oracle Productions, 3809 N. Broadway, 773-244-2980. $10-$14; $20 Fri 10/21 and Sun 10/30 (benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society).

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