Ride the Cyclone | Chicago Shakespeare Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Ride the Cyclone The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Nov. 15 2015

According to an interview printed in the program, Canadian artists Brook Maxwell and Jacob Richmond created this 2008 musical as a way of "humanizing the idea of a mass tragedy"—much as, say, the image of drowned Aylan Kurdi humanized the migrant crisis. It doesn't work out that way, though. Ride the Cyclone starts as eerie fun, introducing us to six more or less goofy teenagers killed in a roller-coaster mishap, and to the swami-like mechanical fortune teller (think Big) who can return one of them to life. We get to know the dead through a series of truly marvelous musical numbers directed and choreographed by Rachel Rockwell, and hear about the swami's troubles as well. But the authors are too intent on quirky amusement. They don't push hard enough, and the show is finally an exceedingly cool but empty thrill. —Tony Adler

Price: $20-$48


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