Mother Courage and Her Children | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Mother Courage and Her Children 

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It's a combustible mix: adapter David Hare's sardonic, corrosive dialogue with Bertolt Brecht's devastating indictment of renegade capitalism and soulless profiteering in a time of "total fear." The resulting play is tragically topical--eclectic, stylized, and riveting in Elizabeth Carlin-Metz's staging for Vitalist Theatre. Making the hardest bargains possible and thriving on others' misery, our antiheroine sacrifices everything that matters to survive for nothing. Lori Myers as this "hyena of the battlefield" is relentless, and so are Kevin O'Donnell's Stomp-like score and set designer Craig Choma's assemblage of dadaist detritus. Seldom have eight actors created a world so full. But the abundant gallows humor never undercuts Brecht's rage. Given our seemingly endless war on terrorism, Mother Courage is an essential parable. Through 10/22: Fri 8 PM, Sat 2:30 and 8 PM, Sun 2:30 PM, Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, 773-327-5252, $15-$20.

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