Elegy | Victory Gardens Theater | Fall Arts, Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 1 2013
Price: $30-$48
The psychic consequences of surviving Auschwitz, both for the survivor himself and for his child—local playwright Ron Hirsen has bitten off a formidable piece of Holocaust trauma. But he fails to chew it in this flimsy 70-minute one-act. It's the 1970s, and Helmut, the survivor, is a onetime poet who's piled all his anguish, anger, and suppressed longing onto his college-age son, Jerry. Naturally, the pressure is driving Jerry nuts. His discovery of one of Dad's long-lost poems triggers a confrontation that's designed to induce catharsis but doesn't because the characters aren't characters but collections of theatrical tropes and historical cliches. It'd help greatly if, for instance, we could get to know Jerry by seeing him outside the family circle. It'd also help if Helmut's poetry were better. Dennis Zacek's Elegy Project production offers strange non sequiturs, like the sight of Jerry manhandling the heirloom poem even as he's trying to convince Helmut of its value. —Tony Adler



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