Murder Ballads | Orchestra Hall Presents! | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Murder Ballads Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks The Short List (Theater)

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through March 25 2012

The hipsters who make up Rough House designed and built simple, lyrical, beguiling puppets for this intentionally rough-hewn 35-minute orchestration of traditional, contemporary, and original songs about homicide. It’s a shame the performers don’t exhibit a similar level of craft when trying to bring those puppets to life. For the most part they can’t get their puppets to walk, dance, or even stand still in a manner than might express some semblance of character. And the constrained, hesitant and (at least on opening night) error-prone singing from director Mike Oleon’s four-person cast does little to communicate the pathos, humor, or intrigue of the songs. Unfortunately for Rough House all the hip, ironic detachment in the world doesn’t sell a ballad. —Justin Hayford

Price: $10

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