Village of K | McKaw Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Village of K The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Oct. 11 2009

Bruised Orange Theater Company takes the sprawling, viciously funny Dostoyevsky novel, Demons, and renders it almost unrecognizable. Playwright Clint Sheffer jettisons Dostoyevsky’s conservative, middle-aged narrator and replaces him with a young, revolutionary-wannabe (whom he also plays). He eliminates major subplots, conflates scenes, invents episodes, and even lets a murdered character live. Director Adam Webster imposes a quasi-farcical tone, bolstered by Ann Sonneville's cheekily low-rent costumes, making the evening feel like Gogol by way of Charles Ludlam. These aren't necessarily problems. The production's iconoclasm creates moments of inspired satire, and Sheffer's script keeps a tight focus on Dostoyevsky's true subject: the deluded bumblings of Russian proto-socialists. But, ultimately, the focus is too tight. Without the novel's detailed political and social context, the satire has no meaningful target. --Justin Hayford

Price: $15-$18

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