The Real Inspector Hound | Strawdog Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Real Inspector Hound Member Picks The Short List (Theater) Recommended Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Aug. 14-15, Mon., Aug. 16 and Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Sept. 18 2010

What signal are the members of Signal Ensemble Theatre trying to send by inaugurating their new space with Tom Stoppard's 1972 comedy, famous for its absurdist send-up of drama critics? At the top of the show, two members of the British press--Birdboot and Moon--sit in a theater, talking shop as they wait for an Agatha Christie-esque murder mystery to begin. Each is a fop in his own special way, and as the mystery plays out each gets abundant opportunity not just to prove it but to answer for it, too. Is this Signal's two-act way of telling critics to go to hell? I might believe that if Ronan Marra's production weren't so amusing and Stoppard's script didn't open out beyond satire to express the strange elation, identification, and even erotic fascination any audience member can feel in the dark. This sort of thing is only going to keep critics coming back. Jon Steinhagen, in particular, is uncanny as Birdboot. --Tony Adler

Price: $10-$20

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