The Other Shore | Vietnamese Association of Illinois | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Other Shore The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. and Sundays, 6:30 p.m. Continues through Nov. 14 2010

When Chinese-born French author Gao Xingjian devised this curious collection of theater games and parables in 1986--14 years before winning the Nobel Prize for literature--he intended it as an exercise for actors. Perhaps it should've remained that. The piece begins with a group of performers playing with ropes by way of demonstrating that "society is complex" because "we're constantly pulling or being pulled." From there it trudges though a series of alternately facile and murky tales, mostly about the quest for individuality in a society that fears and demonizes the nonconformist. There's hardly enough content to fill half the show's 75 minutes, and director Giau Truong has his cast play everything with a one-dimensional earnestness that turns the simple into the simple-minded. --Justin Hayford

Price: $12-$15

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