20,000 Leagues Under the Sea | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Mondays, Tuesdays, Saturdays, Sundays. Continues through April 7 2015
Price: $15
Strawdog Theatre's new musical adaptation of Jules Verne's 1869 sci-fi classic sure gets off to a lively start. Drunken sailors sing a spooky, stirring maritime ballad before descending into a big brawl that tosses boots and fists inches from our heads. But once we're onboard the Nautilus submarine, things steer toward the curiously dull. Deep-sea expeditions, which make up the bulk of the longer scenes, are visually remarkable thanks to John Kelly's ingenious, artful lighting design, but not much distinguishes one dive from the next. We're led farther out to sea by Captain Nemo, the vessel's anarchist-genius commander, played here by Kathrynne Wolf (all the casting is gender blind), who commands some of the swagger of the self-exiled Renaissance man but generally comes off as just irritable, and never convincingly justifies Nemo's vendetta. Likewise, ambiguities abound, but never tighten into pure mystery. —Jena Cutie
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