Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake


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This overwrought masochistic fantasy, loosely following the traditional ballet story and using Tchaikovsky's music, features a prince/hero so clingy and nebbishy you want to kill him on the spot. His mother is a nympho. The Swan is a beefy guy (all the swans are guys) so earthbound he couldn't possibly represent an airy ideal. Director-choreographer Matthew Bourne's schizophrenic update vacillates between vulgar parodies of modern life, eliciting titters, and clumsy efforts at romantic transcendence--here you're supposed to hold your titters--until it culminates in what appears to be a gay bashing by the swans. The shapeless choreography is monotonous, the dancing uneven at best. This is "ballet" for people who don't know or care about dance. If you do, stay away. Through 2/26: Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 2 and 8 PM, Sun 2 and 7:30 PM, Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph, 312-902-1400, 312-977-1710 for groups of 20 or more, $15-$72.50.

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