The Portrait of Dorian Gray | Studio 4001 | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Portrait of Dorian Gray Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater) Image

When: Fridays, Saturdays. Continues through July 29 2017

In Oscar Wilde's 1890 novel, innocent young Dorian descends into decadence and depravity even as he ascends London's social ladder. His moral ugliness fails to leave a physical mark, though, because the titular portrait has somehow absorbed his soul. All his grotesqueness registers there, leaving his outward persona deceptively perfect. Runaways Lab Theatre deserves kudos for recognizing how well the tale aligns with social-media culture, where your brand so easily overwhelms your being. Yet this 70-minute adaptation plays like a rough draft for the show that might be. As devised by Olivia Lilley and the ensemble, it lacks clarity and velocity while strangely failing to make real use of the technology around which it revolves. The portrait itself consists of nothing more than a couple transparencies seen through an overhead projector. Peter Wilde is tart and Jojo Brown sweet in supporting roles (I'd like to see a version with Brown in the lead), but Dorothy Humphrey doesn't push convincingly past innocence as Dorian. —Tony Adler

Price: $12


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