Zoyka's Apartment | Athenaeum Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Zoyka's Apartment Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater) Image

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through April 2 2016

Chicago owes Bluebird Arts for presenting this 1925 "tragic farce" by Mikhail Bulgakov. A true Russian genius, Bulgakov had the unique advantage and the vast misfortune of practicing satire in the early decades of the Soviet era. Stalinist culture made his work at once possible and unpublishable. His great novel, The Master and Margarita, is now well-known in the west, but not works like Zoyka's Apartment—a potentially wicked piece about a bordello operating out of a Moscow housing block. I say "potentially" because, while Bluebird has made a fascinating selection, the production (directed by Luda Lopatina Solomon from an English-language adaptation by Yasen Peyankov and Peter Christensen) is clumsy and approximate. The situation isn't clearly defined, layers of subtext are never reached, and something's got to be done about the way two Chinese characters are portrayed. Only Doogin Brown, playing the brothel manager, seems aware of the demands of the script and how they might be fulfilled. —Tony Adler

Price: $30, $18 students and seniors

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