Request Concert | McKaw Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Mondays, Saturdays, Sundays. Continues through Feb. 2 2014
Price: $15-$20
Franz Xavier Kroetz's Request Concert is formally and politically a creature of its time. First performed in 1973, when there was still a divided Germany and Kroetz lived in it, the piece gives us Ms. Rasch, a woman on the verge of middle age who lives alone in a crappy little efficiency apartment. Without a word, she comes home from work and turns on an all-request radio show. Without a word, she prepares a sandwich for dinner, eats it, smokes a cigarette, and cleans up after herself. Without a word, she rinses out some panty hose, works on a needlepoint flower, and gets herself ready for bed. Her entire, 70-minute evening unfolds in real time and, yes, without a word. It's a portrait of anguish that ends with a desperate act. In Cold War Germany, it was also a comment on fucked lives in a fucked social order. But director Mary Ellen O'Hara has moved Ms. Rasch's efficiency to Chicago, which takes all the resonance out of things. This Ms. Rasch is just a lovelorn, compulsively neat woman who needs a better place to live. Meg Elliott does a lovely job of embodying that woman. Given O'Hara's choice, however, her efforts are doomed. —Tony Adler

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