Space Wars: The Panto | Piccolo Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Space Wars: The Panto Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 17 2011

This comic panto in the traditional British holiday style sends up Star Wars and assorted other space operas. But neither playwright Jessica Puller nor director Nicole Keating seems to know what tone to take with it. Some of the jokes and pop-culture references are aimed over the kids' heads yet aren't clever enough in that Jay Ward/Rocky and Bullwinkle way to satisfy grown-ups. Puller's story gets unnecessarily complicated, and a prologue doesn't make things much clearer. Berner Taylor's Mark Sleepwalker has cocky charm; there's also a clever visual nod to Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space in which deliberately cheesy spacecraft engage in intergalactic warfare. Still, too much of the wit feels like it was teleported elsewhere. —Kerry Reid

Price: $10-$25

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