The Investigation | Chicago Shakespeare Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Investigation New Review (Theater and Comedy) The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Jan. 31 2009

In 1965, Peter Weiss took transcripts from the just-completed Frankfurt war crimes trials and edited them down to create a five-hour theater piece in which Nazis and their former prisoners give verbatim testimony about life--and especially, death--at Auschwitz. Nearly four decades later, Dorcy Rugamba and Isabelle Gyselinx had the idea of putting 80 minutes worth of that testimony in the mouths of Rwandan actors, as a way of contextualizing Rwanda's own genocide against its Tutsi minority. A cast of black Africans play characters with names like Hofmann and Baretski, and speak in French (with English supertitles) about cattle cars, Mengele, and Zylon B gas. And the result? A lot of seemingly unintended contradictions, the most significant being that while the show is clearly meant to be understood as a plea to end the madness, it also comes across as an admission that the madness can never end. Look, it ends up saying, everybody does it. There's a contradictory message in the monotonously earnest presentation, too: even the best intentions and most horrific material can induce boredom. --Tony Adler

Price: $46-$56


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