Beowulf: An Epic Quest of Music, Monsters, and Mead | Den Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Brenda Scott Wlazlo and Pavi Proczko

Brenda Scott Wlazlo and Pavi Proczko

M. Freer Photos

Beowulf: An Epic Quest of Music, Monsters, and Mead 

When: Mondays, Fridays-Sundays. Continues through March 11 2017
Price: Free-$20
redtheater.org
Aaron Sawyer wrote and directed this two-person musical adaptation of the old English epic poem, presented here by Red Theater Chicago, but he can't decide whether he wants to retell the ripping yarn, deconstruct it, or just poke fun at it for its ancient sexism and silly notions of heroism. The result is a noisy, messy, endlessly unfocused production, overstuffed with songs (by Pavi Proczko and Brindin Sawyer, with additional material from Brenda Scott Wlazlo) and unsuccessful in pulling the audience into the story or providing a coherent analysis. Proczko and Wlazlo are occasionally entertaining as, respectively, Beowulf and Grendel's mother, but in the end, I suspect the only people who fully understand what's going on onstage are the people involved in the show's creation. —Jack Helbig

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