Electra Garrigó | Right Brain Project | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Fernando Del Cuadro, Rosie Ramos, and Tamika Lecheé Morales

Fernando Del Cuadro, Rosie Ramos, and Tamika Lecheé Morales

Joseph Ramski

When: Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through April 22 2017
Price: $22, $15 students
When Virgilio Piñera's brazen, bewildering adaptation of Sophocles’s tragedy premiered in Havana in 1948, the literary establishment responded with contempt and disgust—and Cuban modernism was born. Restaged in 1958, its focus on princess Electra’s struggles against her unreasonable tyrant father, Agamemnon, bolstered pro-Castro sentiments (ironically, Castro would later jail Piñera for being queer). While Piñera fell into obscurity by the end of his life, director Kathi Kaity resurrects this seminal work in a Right Brain Project production that may provoke its own share of contempt. Kaity wisely does nothing to smooth over the script’s disjointed expressionism, putting a premium on physical and vocal stridency (Piñera aimed to provoke bourgeois audiences). But the show’s boldness often compromises fundamental comprehensibility, obscuring key relationships among characters. Still, it’s refreshing to see an almost entirely Latinx cast tackle this demanding work. —Justin Hayford



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