Fail/Safe | Theater & Performance, Fall Arts | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Mondays, Tuesdays, Sundays. Continues through Oct. 14 2014
Price: $15
In Sidney Lumet's austere 1964 cold-war thriller Fail-Safe, a mechanical malfunction directs U.S. nuclear bombers to drop their payloads on Moscow. It's ingeniously oppressive; each of the film's primary locales—Omaha Strategic Air Command, a Pentagon briefing room, an underground presidential bunker, and the wayward bomber's cockpit—is hermetically sealed from the others and from the world at large, making the ensuing scramble to prevent nuclear annihilation feel all the more blinkered and desperate. In Strawdog's faithful stage adaptation, director Anderson Lawfer (coadaptor with Nikki Klix) unwisely lets each locale bleed into the next on a broad, open stage, eliminating the claustrophobic tension. Cheap-looking sets and costumes further reduce credibility. Still, if you haven't seen the film, you may find this diluted but ever-timely story compelling. —Justin Hayford
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