The Swan | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Like many calculatedly offbeat playwrights emerging from the Humana Festival over the last three decades, Elizabeth Egloff expended so much effort on making her 1989 play quirky and provocative that she overlooked basic coherence. When a swan crashes through the window of a rural Nebraska shack owned by thrice-divorced, terminally lonely Dora, she puts it in a basket in her living room and goes off to work as usual. The bird turns into a man who learns to play checkers, drink beer, compliment her legs, and recite poetry. Dora's married boyfriend keeps lamenting he "can't go on like this"--and neither should the play. Like Egloff, directors Jen Ellison and John Kahara can't find any metaphorical or psychological depth in this inert muddle. --Justin Hayford a Through 5/5: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland, 773-384-0494, $16, two for one Thu.

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