Lulu | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Louise Brooks was a success stateside when she left Hollywood for Berlin in 1928, but her legend rests on two films she made abroad: G.W. Pabst's Diary of a Lost Girl and Pandora's Box. Following a similar path, Chicago's Silent Theatre Company took its cult hit Lulu--based on Pandora's Box and its source, Frank Wedekind's "Lulu" cycle--on the road this fall, traveling in a live-in school bus repainted in the show's signature colors, black and white. Staging guerrilla assaults in NYC and San Francisco, the troupe garnered exposure on the Today show as well as in Time and the paper of record. Back in town, director Tonika Todorova promises a "meaner, faster, and bolder" version of a play that was plenty electric to start with. Equal parts Jazz Age eye candy, smoldering sexual tension, and masterfully wordless performance, this silent-movie update relies on an evocative piano score and vigorous balletic movement--which works because, as onetime showgirl Brooks wrote, "I was a dancer, and Pabst essentially a choreographer." a Opens Mon 12/11, 7 PM. Through 12/23: Fri-Sat 8 and 10:30 PM, Sun-Thu 8 PM, Chicago Center for the Performing Arts, 777 N. Green, 312-733-6000, $10-$15.

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