Venus in Fur | Heartland Studio Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Venus in Fur Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater) Image

When: Mondays, Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through March 19 2017

David Ives spins the seminal novella by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (of "masochism" infamy) into this comedic contemporary two-hander. An actress crashes the office of a playwright-director in a desperate bid to play Wanda von Dunajew, Venus in Fur's begrudging dominatrix, in his upcoming world-premiere adaptation. Mirroring and commenting on the book's shifting power dynamic, the playwright-director slowly discovers that the mysterious performer's relationship to the text may be deeper than he can handle. Jean Genet this isn't; Ives's script, academic and borderline smug, gets a fair amount of mileage out of its light comedy, but its broader prodding into Sacher-Masoch's themes grows repetitive just halfway through. Still, Charlotte Drover's well-designed, playfully blocked production for Circle Theatre provides ample opportunity for Arti Ishak as Wanda to set the roof ablaze with a rapturous performance. —Dan Jakes

Price: $28

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