J.B. | Oracle Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through April 18 2010
Price: $20
Archibald MacLeish's 1958 Broadway hit is seldom revived today, but Chicago Fusion Theatre's superb production proves the play still packs a punch. MacLeish's Pulitzer Prize-winning verse drama recasts the biblical story of Job as a nightmarish carnival show, focusing on the anguish of a man unable to comprehend the misfortune his God has visited upon him. The cast of Emma Peterson's detailed, passionate staging deliver MacLeish's dense poetry with clarity and power, wedding the language to a harrowingly visceral physicality. Jason Economus is breathtaking as J.B. Sandy Elias’s God and Virginia Marie’s Satan balance compassion and irony in their philosophical debates about the human condition. Lighting designer Lindsey Lyddan transforms the tiny playing area into a mysterious dreamscape, and the masks and makeup created by Scott Schoonover and Valerie Vanderkolk enhance the show's eerie, Fellini-esque expressionism. --Albert Williams
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