The Ugly One | Oracle Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Ugly One Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks The Short List (Theater)

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Nov. 20 2011

German playwright Marius von Mayenburg packs a lot of satire into this intense, 65-minute play. His tale of a contemporary nobody who turns to plastic surgery to become a somebody slashes at corporate culture, modern medicine, contemporary marriages, and the elusiveness of a fixed identity in an image-obsessed world. But it's clear throughout Seth Bockley's frenetic and visually pleasing if occasionally out-of-control Sideshow Theatre production that something has been lost somewhere along the line. The characters don't quite talk like real people, the comedy is rarely laugh-out-loud funny, and the satire doesn't always go for the jugular. Among the performers, only Nina O'Keefe achieves the balance of naturalism and cruel caricature needed to make the material soar. --Jack Helbig

Price: $15-$20

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