The Mad Dancers | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Playwright Yehuda Hyman might have adapted the Hasidic tale of the seven beggars as a contemplative spiritual allegory or as a fast-paced action-adventure fantasy. But he seems undecided which course to take in his account of a reluctant hero, assisted by a bevy of exotic companions, who rescues a sleeping princess. Though the first act brims with promise, the second unravels into a tangle of enigmatic analogies and unanswered questions. The production's spectacle more than redeems the narrative fuzziness, however: songs and dances reflect the many roots of Sephardic Judaism, and Ravi Batista is dazzling in a variety of roles. --Mary Shen Barnidge a Through 6/24: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 2:30 PM, Piven Theatre, Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes, Evanston, 847-866-8049, $23-$25.

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