Arcadia | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Arcadia 

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Under James Bohnen's direction, Tom Stoppard's play about the tension between fact and faith is as good as it can be. This Remy Bumppo Theatre Company production is particularly welcome at a time when "faith" is used as a synonym for "certainty of infallibility." Just as in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead the playwright built a theory of existence from an intellectual parlor game, so here he's used obscure mathematical issues to suggest that the way we approach discovering the truth determines who we are and whether and how we love. The actors handle the complicated plot, alternating between the 19th and 21st centuries, with facility, though the period characters are written to be more affecting than the contemporary ones. Ashley Wood, playing the only 21st-century figure with whom Stoppard has any sympathy, sees his opportunity and takes it, bringing to his scenes the only present-day passion. Through 1/2: Wed-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 2:30 PM. Tue 12/21 and 12/28, 7:30 PM. Thu 12/30, 2:30 and 7:30 PM. Victory Gardens Theater, second-floor main stage, 2257 N. Lincoln, 773-871-3000. $25-$35.

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