The Dumb Waiter | TUTA Studio Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Dumb Waiter Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through Sept. 1 2012

Two edgy hit men endure an idle hour awaiting instructions from "the organization" in Harold Pinter's 1957 one-act. Director Zeljko Djukic stages the nonaction in a sunken, featureless room, with the audience peering down from above. The unconventional arrangement heightens both the script's sense of entrapment and its wry comedy, as the men resemble tightly caged lab rats with hardly an ounce of imagination between them. But the tops of heads aren't terribly expressive, so it's often difficult to connect with the actors, and Djukic's emphasis on comedy undermines the feeling of menace that should give the play urgency. Halfway through, the characters "discover" the audience is watching, a glaring conceptual blunder: assassins on a secret assignment wouldn't stick around once they’re found out. —Justin Hayford

Price: $15-$25

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