Flight Courier Service | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Flight Courier Service 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Flight Courier Service

Over the past five years the members of the Cook County Theatre Department have been puttering around in their near-south-side loft, largely ignored by mainstream press and audiences alike. Yet they've mounted ten peculiar, beguiling shows with a total budget of less than $10,000. From the hesitant fumblings of their debut, Swing Your Lady (a self-described deconstruction of Oklahoma!), to the thrilling sophistication of their two-person Tosca to the giddy free-for-all of their "summer stock" Wizard of Oz, Cook County have consistently charmed and baffled audiences with their poker-faced brand of antitheater. Now, with nearly all the original members departed for the coasts and an expensive space to maintain, Cook County may be calling it quits (although just a few days ago they found a "roommate" to share their loft, meaning they may be able to hang onto it a bit longer). If their new show, Flight Courier Service, is indeed their swan song, they're going out with a bang. Their first honest-to-God play, penned by company cofounder Rich Maxwell, features comic genius Gary Wilmes--he of the collapsible skeleton--as hapless international courier Rene, sent with a mysterious package to Kuala Lumpur only to find himself the target of an inexplicable murder plot. True to their Fluxus roots, Cook County can't just present a play; at one point, two actors stop the show to talk about how they first met. But in the end the company prove they know how to tell a conventional story with the best of them. Cook County Theatre Department, 2255 S. Michigan (enter on 23rd Street), 312-842-8234. Opens Thursday, November 13, 8 PM. Through November 22: Thursdays, 8 PM; Fridays-Saturdays, 10:30 PM. $10, or "pay what you can."

--Justin Hayford

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Jason Greenberg.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Justin Hayford

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
The Better Half Steppenwolf Theatre, 1700 Theatre
November 08
Performing Arts
Spirits to Enforce Berry Memorial United Methodist Church
November 08

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories