Kodachrome Telephone | Prop Thtr | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Kodachrome Telephone

Kodachrome Telephone

Julia Dratel

When: Mondays. Continues through Feb. 10 2014
Price: $12 in advance, $15 or pay what you can at the door
According to a program note, this Rhinoceros Theater Festival entry was inspired by a bucketful of 35-millimeter photographic slides that Whiskey Rebellion members Jessica Wright Buha and Aileen McGroddy found at an antique store. Buha pulled a coming-of-age narrative from that bucket: the tale of a phobic young woman named Cece, whose trip to visit her aunt takes a liberating detour even as her dad, Arthur, starts quietly succumbing to amyloidosis. The 60-minute piece is set in Arthur's study and told mainly through the letters Cece sends him, as well as those he writes only to tear up. But director McGroddy also uses stick puppets, silhouettes, and some of those antique-store slides to help us share Cece's adventure. Such devices lend Kodachrome Telephone a naive charm. Still, they don't mitigate the dullness that sets in as Cece's emancipation and Arthur's decline drag on without yielding any significant insights or surprises. On a technical level, McGroddy hasn't figured out how to display the slides without keeping Errol McLendon's Arthur in perpetual half shadow. —Tony Adler



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