Chalk | Victory Gardens Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Nina O'Keefe and Kathleen Akerley in Chalk

Nina O'Keefe and Kathleen Akerley in Chalk

Jonathan L. Green

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through June 28 2015
Price: $20-$30
Earth is under attack from an oddly specialized variety of alien that feeds on human memories, incidentally killing the humans. The invasion is going nicely everywhere but in a shed belonging to middle-aged Maggie. A memory eater has taken possession of Maggie's troubled teenage daughter, Cora, but can't seem to digest her; Maggie, meanwhile, fights back from the safety of a magic circle she's drawn with chalk and stocked with Pop Tarts. Walt McGough's new "sci-fi fable" recalls everything from Invasion of the Body Snatchers to The Devil and Daniel Webster. But fantasy thrills aren't the point. Neither is the obvious addiction metaphor. This 65-minute one-act is powered first and foremost by its fraught mother-daughter relationship. (Well, mother-daughter-alien.) Though the script falls into confusion at times, McGough generally makes smart use of his black-comic premise. So does director Megan A. Smith, whose Sideshow Theatre production features engagingly off-balance performances by Kathleen Akerley and Nina O'Keefe. —Tony Adler



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