With or Without Wings | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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With or Without Wings

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Those writing about illness usually do so after someone close to them has died. But Mierka Girten in her one-woman show is not crying over another young woman afflicted with multiple sclerosis--she is that young woman. With or Without Wings--produced here by the Baum House and the nonprofit Mookie Jam organization, which benefits artists with MS--is the darkly comic story of her 11th-hour rally against the threat and despair of that incurable disease. An accomplished actress and clown-mime, Girten reproduces in hilarious detail each small skirmish in her battle with the polysymptomatic specter, her mobile face and versatile voice mimicking with astonishing accuracy the people she encounters on her journey from frightened victim to courageous survivor. "From the moment we are born, all we do is die," she reminds us. If only we could all face our fate with Girten's warmth and humor. Victory Gardens Theater, second-floor studio, 2257 N. Lincoln, 773-871-3000. Through September 30: Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 PM; Sundays, 3 PM. The shows on Saturday, September 22 and 29, are signed for the hearing impaired. $20.

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