Too many explanations spoil all the surprises in Future Echoes | Theater Review | Chicago Reader

Too many explanations spoil all the surprises in Future Echoes 

Also, don't you just hate when zombies ruin your dinner party?

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It's just your typical night for Allie (Gabrielle Lott-Rogers). She's invited some college friends over for dinner. Things are going fine; people like the soup. Suddenly, a rift opens in space time. Evil physicist roommate Eamon (Greg Wenz) starts stalking Allie across eternity, even tampering with past traumas to harass her retroactively. Meanwhile, putrefied zombie copies of her pals (their "echoes") claw at the front entrance with half their faces blown off. Score one for the sadists at WildClaw Theatre, who with this spooker by Paul Foster mark ten years of lavishing gothic thrills on a niche market that presumably loves them rabidly.

And yet, and yet. H. P. Lovecraft wrote in an essay that "natural explanations" could screw up even the eeriest atmosphere. True fear is fear of the unknown. If I'm less enthusiastic about this show than others will be, it's partly because there's only so many times I can listen to Eamon lecture Allie on Schrödinger's cat. Who cares? A solid hour of quantum mechanics for dummies, whatever it purportedly explains, utterly squelches whatever mystery the show might have had going for it. The horror factor is nil already, however, thanks to design blunders and poor direction: because the wings are wide open in John Ross Wilson's floor plan, we can see ghouls entering minutes before they register onstage.

I could also have done without the shrillness of Eamon's never-ending vows to be less of a dweebus around Allie than he was during undergrad. No means no, you revolting gargoyle.   v

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