The Bald Soprano; Off | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Bald Soprano; Off


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Former English majors should get a nostalgic kick out of Eugene Ionesco's classic fit of social-cultural-political-linguistic-logical-dramaturgical Tourette's, offered here on a double bill with Michael Glen Barker's Off. Both plays are nicely (if a little greenly) done under Jaclyn Biskup's direction--especially the Ionesco, with its convulsive performance by Elizabeth Kline and Jana Anderson's understatedly overstated costuming. But you have to wonder why a company called Experimental Theatre Chicago would revive a script that did its ground breaking more than half a century ago. Even Barker's short new piece is all homage and no provocation. I wrote an imitation of Ionesco when I first read him, back in high school, and Off reminds me of that. The greatest service this double bill performs is to demonstrate how thoroughly the focus of theatrical experimentation has shifted from the verbal to the physical. The show's a pleasant anachronism. Through 2/5: Thu-Sun 8 PM. Stage Left Theatre, 3408 N. Sheffield, 312-388-7660. $15.

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