With its extraordinarily expressive story-theater style combining pantomime, silent-cinema acting, sign language, traditional speech, and unusual sound, the National Theatre of the Deaf is uniquely equipped to dramatize Homer's legendary adventure epic. NTD's The Odyssey is set in the belly of the Trojan Horse, where Odysseus and his nervous soldiers entertain themselves by spinning fantastic tales--of sirens and sorceresses, one-eyed monsters and holy cattle, journeys through the worlds of the living and the dead-whose poetic subtext concerns man's confrontation with his own confounding nature. All of this is perfect material for this imaginative company, which appeals to both hearing and deaf audiences with a distinctive blend of visual and aural imagery including haunting music, produced by specially commissioned percussive sculptures created by Francois and Bernard Baschet, that can be both heard and felt. No company I've ever seen gives more sheer theatrical pleasure; this rare visit to the Chicago area should not be missed. At Barat College Performing Arts Center, March 7 (Drake Theatre, 700 E. Westleigh, Lake Forest, 708295-2620). Wednesday, 8 PM. $14.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/A. Vincent Scarano.