The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui

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Yosh Hayashi turns in a mesmerizing performance as the eponymous sniveling menace, a publicity-starved petty thug in 1920s Chicago bent on taking over the city's lucrative vegetable trade. Hayashi's Ui is impish, dyspeptic, malevolent, pitiless, and charismatic--often all in the same breath. But like director Jonathan Berry's strident, unvaried Steep Theatre production, his performance barely progresses, and Ui's rise to power seems unremarkable, inspiring neither awe nor terror. The rest of the cast members in Brecht's oversimplified 1941 parody of Hitler's ascension fail to find the psychological nuances in their iconic, cartoonish characters, and in their rapid-fire delivery of Brecht's snub-nosed poetry they too often mistake shouting for emotional engagement. --Justin Hayford a Through 7/7: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Steep Theatre, 3902 N. Sheridan, 312-458-0722, $18.

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