Ghosts & Zombies | Strawdog Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Almanya Narula, Marsha Harman, and Micah Kronlokken with (back) Victor Bayona

Almanya Narula, Marsha Harman, and Micah Kronlokken with (back) Victor Bayona

Karl Clifton-Soderstrom

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Oct. 29 2017
Price: $25, $15 students, seniors, and industry
chicagonordic.org
Ibsen’s dour, portentous 1881 drama Ghosts tackles oppressive conservative morality, serial marital infidelity, venereal disease, mercy killing, and incest. As Swedish contemporary playwright-adapter Gustav Tegby shows, it doesn’t take much to turn the whole thing into melodramatic gothic horror, just a slathering of irony and a few undead. It’s an elemental transformation, but it’s never clear why Tegby bothered—or why Akvavit Theatre imagines the play is worth their considerable talents—as it offers little insight into the work, Ibsen’s world, or our own. Under Breahan Pautsch’s equivocal direction, the production vacillates between earnestness and lampoonery without adequately investing in either, resulting in an evening that chases its tail for nearly three hours. As usual, Akvavit’s cast and design team are top-notch. —Justin Hayford

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