TETRAGRAMMANON IS, at Saint Paul Church of the Redeemer. What this is is a very noble effort for an extremely worthy cause. Unfortunately Francois Dimanche's spiritual, surreal play--about an ordinary woman who's transformed into what may be the new messiah--has some structural problems: it seems to end several times, and it's filled with lengthy monologues that weigh the script down. But director Ira Rogers and his large cast give their all to create a thought-provoking production. Just as Greek drama originated from religious ritual and the church of the Middle Ages used the theater to teach theological lessons, so this company takes Dimanche's beliefs about the feminine aspect of God to create an allegorical sermon. While the acting may not be up to the level of most of Chicago's off-Loop theater, an extraordinary amount of heart and soul has been poured into the play.
Tetragrammanon Is is not merely theater for the sake of theater but an effort to raise funds for the Greater Chicago Food Depository, among other organizations. The unusual story also provides audience members with a fresh approach to how we live and treat one another, how our selfish earthly desires prevent us from bringing love into our lives. Filled with humor to balance its preaching, the play entertained both young children and older members of the community on the evening I was fortunate enough to see it.
--Gabrielle S. Kaplan