Phaedra | Transcendent Ensemble Theatre Company | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Phaedra New Review (Theater and Comedy) The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through April 4 2015

I can't tell you what exactly Transcendent Ensemble sees in Matthew Maguire’s Phaedra, a mid-90s adaptation of the ancient Greek myth about one mortal’s urge to jump in bed with her stepson. Between quippy lines like "Your crotch was a bloated tulip" and the play’s unquenchable search for ever-more flowery descriptors of the male genitalia, it’s difficult to pin down just what about this script the ensemble found transformative—a quality they evidently value, considering past productions staged with much more nuance and subtlety. Here Maguire’s awful writing lends itself well to indulgent staging, which we receive in abundance via wall slapping and screaming–overblown actions in a small space where the audience’s skepticism isn't easily concealed. —Chloe Riley

Price: $15, $20 with two drink tickets