The Fundamentals | Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Upstairs Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Fundamentals Recommended The Short List (Theater) Image

When: Thu., Nov. 10 2016

Erika Sheffer's The Fundamentals opens with a crafty one-two punch. As the house lights dim, stock images of happy, indulgent people splash across a sweeping off-white wall adorned with nondescript high-end sconces. "Happiness is a place," a soothing disembodied voice intones. "Comfort is a destination." It soon becomes clear this audiovisual presentation, heavy on marketing hyperbole and inspirational vagaries, is a pitch for the high-end Wellington Hotel Properties. But it isn't designed to lure customers, but rather to convince hotel employees that fealty to corporate "fundamentals"—resourcefulness, professionalism, courtesy, etc, will imbue their work hours with fulfillment bordering on religious ecstasy. Then the wall divides in two, revealing a cruddy office: gray linoleum floor, decrepit mismatched desks and chairs, institutional storage shelving, piles of clutter, hateful lighting. This is Housekeeping, tucked away in the hotel's inelegant bowels, where those lowest on Wellington's corporate ladder teeter. In an instant one of the play's main themes is laid bare: what we think we're promised in life often bears little resemblance to what we get. Read the full review >>

Price: $20-$92


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