Robinson Crusoe | Piccolo Theatre | Holiday Shows | Chicago Reader

Robinson Crusoe Member Picks Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 20 2008

Sublimely silly, Piccolo Theatre's annual British-style panto (essentially Monty Python in a music hall) encourages booing, cheering, and chanting as it plays fast, loose, and very anachronistically with Daniel Defoe's famous castaway. In Ken Raabe's adaptation, Crusoe, his sporadically cannibalistic girl Friday, and some crazy marooners are caught up in a sadistic Survivor-esque show where ratings will soar if they don't survive. No brow is too low here: synchronized spit and sea sickness, a black-lit nautical ballet including a giant squid out of Jules Verne, and peppy vaudeville choruses that reinvent perpetual motion are all trotted out. Showcased by a jewel-box set reminiscent of a Victorian toy theatre, director John Szostek's ten-member cast are so eager to please that they ultimately do. --Lawrence Bommer

Price: $15-$25

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