Today We Escape: Plays Inspired by OK Computer | Den Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Today We Escape: Plays Inspired by OK Computer The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through April 4 2015

Tympanic Theatre Company’s second minifestival inspired by a classic album (after 2012’s Deliver Us From Nowhere, based on Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska), Today We Escape is a collection of short plays based on Radiohead’s 1997 album OK Computer. At the show I attended, capable live music from guitarist McKenzie Gerber introduced the pieces, but incorporating more from each of the album’s tracks could have provided valuable insight into the playwrights’ inspiration. The strongest plays give off a soulful yet futuristic Twilight Zone vibe that feels sonically aligned with the British rockers. Randall Colburn’s Terry (inspired by "Paranoid Android") is a disturbing look into the psyche of a grizzled session guitarist. Ted Brengle’s B.E.M. (more literally inspired by "Subterranean Homesick Alien") details the chilling transformation of a lonely dermatologist into a pseudoscientific expert on extraterrestrials. Other pieces, like Natalie DiCristofano's There’s No Place Like Hoyne (inspired by "Karma Police") feel gratuitously silly by comparison. —Marissa Oberlander

Price: $20