Strangulation...and other games we play | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

Strangulation...and other games we play

by

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

comment

Strangulation...and other games we play, Wig Theatre, at the O Bar and Cafe. Like so many of Chicago's non-Equity "companies," Wig Theatre is a group of friends who decided to put up a show in one of the city's low-rent basement venues. Though Wig is mostly made up of Annoyance Theatre members or actors who've performed at the Annoyance, here they've chosen to stage four contemporary one-acts with a range of humor and depth, in a vein quite different from the Annoyance's usual. The plays' recurring theme is love relationships--specifically, the shadow side of emotional intimacy. From Edward Allan Baker's Delores, in which two sisters confront their husbands' abuse, to Don Nigro's Something in the Basement, a wildly poetic yet truthful tale of a married couple who push each other's buttons to a disturbing degree, this evening showcases some good dramas and the actors' capabilities.

Nicely directed by Ellen Stoneking, these stagings usually manage to avoid basement-theater overacting. Especially provocative is Jonathan Browning's solo turn as Barney in Walter Rhodes's Between Maude and Mother Earth, a piece about a miner's love for his wife as he faces a cruel, gradual death. While Browning is obviously much younger than Barney, he gently and subtly finds the character's rich soul. Ironically the lightest piece in the show--David Ives's The Sure Thing--concludes the evening on a more predictable note.

--Gabrielle S. Kaplan

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment