The God of Hell | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The God of Hell

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Sam Shepard's latest, a ham-fisted satire of post-9/11 America, has none of the subtlety, grace, or dramatic power of his best work, like True West and Buried Child. The dialogue is obvious, the characters are flat, and the story is both preposterous and uncompelling: a Wisconsin dairy farm is invaded by a sadistic, Dick Cheney-like villain out to turn everyone into an unthinking, ultrapatriotic drone. In the right hands, this flawed script full of righteous indignation might have been at least amusing, but Karen Kessler's Chicago-premiere production lacks passion and conviction. Even the cast's best actors, Roderick Peeples and Joseph Wycoff, can't seem to muster much enthusiasm for the show. Through 10/16: Thu 7:30 PM, Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 2 PM. Next Theatre Company, Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes, Evanston, 847-475-1875, ext. 2. $12.50-$35.

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