Hillbilly Antigone | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Hillbilly Antigone 

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The title suggests that this bluegrass musical version of Sophocles' play is essentially a derogatory joke hinging on the assumption that putting rural mountain folk in a Greek tragedy is like bringing pigs to church. And ultimately the world here doesn't so much resemble Thebes as a lurid Li'l Abner strip: cocreators Rick Sims and Heidi Stillman have comedy in mind and throw in every Appalachian stereotype they can think of--family feuds, religious fanaticism, incest. Yet ultimately the work's unflattering stereotypes and over-the-top cartoon approach come to seem the comedic equivalents of the larger-than-life situations of the tragedy, offering a goofily exaggerated look at some of Sophocles' themes. Stillman's colorful production zips along driven by Sims's lively bluegrass score, played and sung by a chorus of three, among them Sims himself. Through 7/10: Wed 7:30 PM, Thu 6:30 PM, Fri 7:30 PM, Sat 3 and 8 PM, Sun 3 PM. Sat 6/11, 8 PM only. Lookingglass Theatre Company, Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan, 312-337-0665. $30-$58.

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