Lulu | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Lulu 

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The Silent Theatre Company--remounting its 2005 production of Lulu, a cultishly adoring tribute to Frank Wedekind, G.W. Pabst, and Louise Brooks--deserves attention for its sheer technical prowess. The movement is expressive and tightly choreographed, especially in a breathtaking date-rape dance duel. The monochromatic visual palette is perfect, alluding to expressionist greasepaint and swank Jazz Age glitz. The coordination of the intertitles and piano score, which holds everything together, is expert. But on a second viewing, what makes Lulu truly arresting is director Tonika Todorova and company's sly, deadpan mastery of the early silent era's acting, lighting, and editing conventions. That, and their frank embrace of the sexually supercharged symbolism of Lulu's calamitous adventures. This new staging--for which the entire exceptional cast returns--makes the most of a larger space, trading finely etched immediacy for bigger, bolder, more kinetic stage pictures. Through 2/26: Fri-Sat 8 and 11 PM, Sun 7 PM, Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, 773-327-5252, $20.

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