The Outfit | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Outfit



THE OUTFIT, Serendipity Theatre Company, at Raven Theatre. Laura Schellhardt's fable works best when she abandons her attempt to evoke the ironic tone of its source material, Gogol's The Overcoat. Though her narrators are clever creations--representing simultaneously the three Graces, Macbeth's three witches, and Disney's Flora, Fauna, and Merriweather--their commentary makes the characters seem distant and unimportant. (The playwright mentions this phenomenon, apparently without grasping that it applies to her own work.) But as soon as narration gives way to story, the play becomes a provocative exploration of the impact of internalized social expectations on individuals. Matt Miller's sharp direction brings out pathos and comedy alike, especially through touching performances by Lauren Pesca as the woman whose dress changes her life and James Elly as her dressmaker--Galatea and Pygmalion. Joshua Allard's costume design, including attire from a trio of local clothiers, is perfect for this piece in which costume is all.

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