Fur | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

If you missed the Chicago premiere of Migdalia Cruz's deep, dark exploration of the Beauty and the Beast myth at Latino Chicago Theater Company two years ago, don't despair. The folks at Steppenwolf have again opened their doors, as they did for last year's production of Redmoon's Frankenstein, to one of the city's most innovative companies, and so Fur is once again on its feet. Cruz takes a hard look at hunger and desire and at our perceptions of physical beauty through the character of Citrona, a woman covered with hair who's been raised and sold as a circus freak. This is one of the most challenging, raw, endearing stage representations of a woman I've ever seen. Marilyn Dodds Frank, who originated the role, deserves recognition for her spectacular portrayal of this very beautiful beast. And while the Steppenwolf studio is decidedly more sterile than Latino Chicago's intimate Firehouse theater, director Ralph Flores maintains the integrity of the original production, allowing Cruz's poetic language to fill the space. Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Studio Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted, 312-335-1650. Through February 9: Wednesdays-Fridays, 7:30 PM; Saturdays, 4:30 and 8:30 PM; Sundays, 2:30 PM. $14.50-$19.50. --Gabrielle S. Kaplan

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

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