Fefu and Her Friends | Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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Tom McGrath

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Oct. 8 2016
Price: $20
"My husband married me to have a constant reminder of how loathsome women are," begins Cuban-American playwright María Irene Fornés’s radical 1977 drama, which is variously about madness, women's agency, and internalized misogyny. The speaker, Fefu, is herself "fascinated with revulsion"; she and her husband, Philip, play a game in which she shoots him and he dodges her "bullets." (The gun isn't loaded—or at least Fefu thinks it isn't loaded. Uncertainty, of course, is part of the game.) Like the all-female cast here, Fornés and her longtime partner, Susan Sontag, rejected marriage and heteronormativity. In fact, the S/M relationship between the character Paula and her former lover, Cecilia, will feel familiar to anyone who’s read Sontag’s recently published journals. The madwoman in the play, Julia, is the most fascinating of the group; as Fefu sees it, she has chosen this fate. Unfortunately, Halcyon Theatre isn’t up to the challenge of Fornés's vision, which demands swifter pacing and an ensemble far more in sync with each other—and with the text itself. —Suzanne Scanlon



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