The Hostage | Stage 773 | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Hostage The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Nov. 1 2009

Director Jonathan Berry keeps his Griffin Theatre Company cast so relentlessly focused on overplaying comic bits for two and a half hours that the fundamentals of Brendan Behan's 1958 absurdist play get overlooked--stuff like who the characters are, what they need from one another, and how they might speak or sing clearly enough to make more than half of what they say intelligible. Behan's dark comedy about bumbling Irish nationalists holding a British soldier hostage in a Dublin brothel certainly has a chaotic, farcical edge, what with semi-nutty characters breaking into song every few minutes. But without consistent internal logic grounding the mayhem, it quickly becomes wearying and nearly incomprehensible. --Justin Hayford

Price: $18-$28

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