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The Permanent Way



David Hare's 2003 docudrama examines the privatization of the British rail system and its literally disastrous aftermath. But Hare's artful oral-history collage resonates beyond the dysfunctional particulars of Blairism, or even callous crisis management from 9/11 to Katrina. It's a universal model of how calamitous projects high (the war in Iraq) and low (our own CTA) are created by policies designed to fail, navigated by profit-driven managers unaccountable to reality and protected after the fact by "investigatory" commissions. Credit director Brandon Ray and his uniformly superb cast for making this intellectually searing material utterly immediate--technically and emotionally, the characterizations in this New Leaf Theatre production are the match of anything you'd see at Steppenwolf or the Goodman. --Brian Nemtusak a Through 3/3: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Lincoln Park Cultural Center, 2045 N. Lincoln Park West, 773-828-4387, $12-$15.

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