The Vow | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Tom Patrick's new historical drama about the Crusades aims for cutting commentary on the war on terror. But since the U.S. invasion of Iraq is more about neocon fantasies of establishing a democratic ally in a Muslim state than about destroying Muslim culture, the analogy is fatally flawed--even if Bush did use the word "crusade" to describe the war early on. A wounded French baron, a lecherous manservant, and a creepy Knight Templar (pardon the redundancy) hide in an abandoned Saracen tent and argue over whether they should stay and fight or cut and run. In Kevin Heckman's staging, this mostly means they shout a lot and throw one another around Sara C. Walsh's nicely appointed set. The addition of a mysterious Muslim scholar/storyteller provides some intriguing interludes but also continues the unfortunate Western tradition of creating an exotic other. Through 4/2: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM. Stage Left Theatre, 3408 N. Sheffield, 773-883-8830. $18-$22; industry show Thu 3/3.

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