Look, What I Don't Understand | Athenaeum Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Look, What I Don't Understand Tickets Available The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 1 2009

Written, partially designed, and wholly acted by Anthony Nikolchev, this show works best as a kind of extended audition piece. Its gaggle of at least 15 characters screams ambition, and Nikolchev comes off overall as a resourceful, personable, energetic, and well-trained young actor. But there's not much besides him to recommend his chronicle of how the Nikolchev family made its way from Nazi-aligned (and then communist) Bulgaria, through Mobutu's Congo, to the United States. All those characters become difficult to track before long, and the narrative--though lousy with dramatic possibility--never finds its focus. Worse, Nikolchev fails to confront issues raised by his family history. Bulgaria's Axis membership, for instance, is spun as a little Balkan nation's attempt to leverage Hitler against Stalin, when the reality was a whole lot more complicated--and ugly. --Tony Adler

Price: $10-$15, industry shows Sun

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