The Emigrants | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Emigrants The Short List (Theater) Recommended Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Wed., Feb. 3, 8 p.m. and Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 21 2010

A rich vein of Eastern European drama has been nourished in Chicago by such theaters as the Chopin, TUTA, and Trap Door. Now add to the list Moving Stories Theatre, founded in August by American actor Joe Mack and Serbian expat Goran Milev. The ensemble debuts with Slawomir Mrozek's 1974 absurdist study of two Polish emigres holed up in a basement apartment in Paris. AA, a political refugee, is a smug intellectual who looks down on his roommate XX, a laborer who hoards his earnings and dreams of returning to his homeland a wealthy man. As the flatmates' alternately hostile and genial conversation exposes XX's naivete and AA's hypocrisy, Mrozek pursues the theme that communism and capitalism are both fear-based systems that take different paths toward the same goal: spiritual enslavement. Milev, who also directs, gives a wonderfully rich and complex performance as XX, and he and Mack play off each other well in this 80-minute one-act. --Albert Williams

Price: $20 (opening night $30)