The Raveling is a theatrical spinning wheel | Theater Review | Chicago Reader

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The Raveling is a theatrical spinning wheel

Walkabout Theater's ensemble-created show suffers from too many unresolved threads.

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Imagine watching a class of preschoolers hopped up on cupcakes, acting out their dreams from the night before. This is the world of The Raveling, 60 minutes of utter self-indulgence that means absolutely nothing. Everyone onstage talks at once, so you can't really hear any of them. Sometimes they whisper in unison, for no apparent reason. They also spend a lot of time rolling around on the floor, also for no apparent reason. They spend yet more time rolling around on/over/behind/alongside a wheeled table for (perhaps you've already guessed) no apparent reason.

The best thing about this collaboration between Walkabout Theater and India's Guild of the Goat? It's only an hour. The worst thing? You will never get that hour back. Beware plays penned by committee: per the press materials, The Raveling was cocreated over the course of a year by Walkabout Ensemble "in collaboration with" Fides Krucker and Delhi's Guild of the Goat with "original text" by Morgan McNaught. But wait! There's more! It was also "created and performed" by Nigel Brown, McCambridge Dowd-Whipple, Cooper Forsman, Dana Murphy, Katie Mazzini, Anastacia Narrajos, Anirudh Nair, and Amba-Suhasini Jhala. If you like a narrative thread—linear or otherwise—in your drama, this production is not for you. Ditto if you're a fan of actual characters onstage, as opposed to bodies spitting out word salad. Supposedly, each "family member" in the cast follows the thread of a story that has to do with "homeleaving" and/or homecoming, ultimately asking "What is the work of coming undone?" It's all meaningless gobbledygook. Unless you want a warm-up for a pending child-care gig, there's no reason to subject yourself to such trifling nonsense.  v

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