Dorian | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader


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Tommy Rapley's inventive new dance-theater adaptation of Oscar Wilde's 1890 The Picture of Dorian Gray updates the action to 1980s America--think Bret Easton Ellis's novel Less Than Zero and Frankie Goes to Hollywood's video for "Relax." Rapley and coauthor Ben Lobpries have paraphrased or trimmed most of Wilde's literate prose, replacing it with distinctly un-Wildean lines like "Wow! Is that really what I look like?" and "He's so hot. Is he queer?" But this visually striking production captures the essence of the story, about a handsome libertine whose corruption is reflected in an increasingly grotesque portrait while he remains unblemished and eternally young. Employing dance, mime, and stylized gesture, Dorian focuses on the relationships Dorian has with his decadent mentor Lord Harry Wotton and artist Basil Hallward. And in this homoerotic version, the painting comes to life, encouraging Dorian's wickedness. A talented 12-person cast and creative staging and design make this by far the creepiest version of Dorian Gray I've seen on stage or screen. Through 9/3: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3:30 PM, Bailiwick Repertory, Bailiwick Arts Center, 1229 W. Belmont, 773-883-1090, $25.


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