The Cage | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Playwright Jeremy Menekseoglu commits a crime against drama in this overwrought, unfocused new script. The audience never gets the opportunity to invest in the outcome by anticipating the action; instead we spend all our time and effort trying to fathom what the hell is happening. Menekseoglu himself plays the lead in this story about a young sultan locked up for 23 years; when freed, he attempts to assert his will over a designing vizier and tormenting demon. So much exposition, so little payoff. As if to make up for a plot that goes nowhere, this staging for the Dream Theatre Company by Sarah Mostad and Mia Kuziko lurches from frenetic bellowing to rapturous muttering. But it utterly fails to convince anyone that anything is at stake. The real cage here is the theater: you can taste true freedom as you leave it. Through 3/26: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 2 PM. No show Thu-Fri 3/17-3/18. Chicago Cultural Center, studio theater, 78 E. Washington (enter at 77 E. Randolph), 773-474-9070. $10-$15.

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