Letter of Love (The Fundamentals of Judo) | Trap Door Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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Letter of Love (The Fundamentals of Judo) Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through April 22 2018
Price: $20-$25
In this devised piece, four figures in mismatched shades of red discuss color theory, mothering, and the poetics of immateriality while elaborately judo-flipping one another. Mostly a vehicle for the fights, Aleksi Barrière’s show is based, oddly, on the lives of two judo-trained modernist artists: Spanish playwright Fernando Arrabal and French painter Yves Klein. Arrabal, who used judo in his plays, blames his crazily fawning mother for ratting out her husband to Franco's military police. Dejected Mom, voiced by Marzena Bukowska, gets her say, while Halie Ecker, another incarnation of Arrabal's mother, this time at her most smothering, tangles suggestively on a mat with Mike Steele, who plays Arrabal. Then we get scenes from the biography of Yves Klein—for instance, Klein declaring that his newest paintings are henceforth "immaterial" yet still for sale—interlarded with quotations from his writings on color and martial arts. A confusing play. —Max Maller



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