Legless | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader


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LEGLESS, Dirt Road Theatre Group, at Curious Theatre Branch. There are two sorts of fairy tales: the peppy Disney versions and the darker original kind, where children get lost and stay lost and bad things happen to ordinary people, sometimes for no reason at all. In this new work by Abra Adduci, a young woman has had her legs mysteriously removed. The story doesn't quite hold together, but the language is beautiful and some of the images are compelling in Joe Binder's staging for this new company.

We never learn how the girl (a delicate but occasionally ferocious Michele Gross) lost her legs or where she came from. We only know that one day she drags herself into a town whose pinched, bitter citizens decide that her deformity is a sign of inner darkness. Everyone shuns her except for a slow boy (Brian Bogulski) who makes her his wife. He also builds the girl a series of legs from baseball bats and pigs' feet. But his love only hurts her more, until his final attempt at redemption turns her into a legend.

The play's narrator slows the story down, especially as she's hammed up by Kristen Iaquinta. And Adduci includes some confusing bits about a demon mother (Lisa Hunter). But this is a promising effort from Dirt Road with some good ensemble work.


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