Stone in My Shoe | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Stone in My Shoe 

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Stone in My Shoe, Curious Theatre Branch, at the Lunar Cabaret. Ensemble member Marianne Fieber's disappointing hour-long piece is essentially a rambling monologue about the spiritual and moral failings of her character, called simply "a woman," combined with awkwardly staged movement derived from tap dance, eurythmy, and gymnastic exercises. Fieber occasionally interacts with two brightly dressed, nearly silent "teacher obstacles" (Kat McJimsey and Leah Kaplan) who try to inspire her by throwing shoes at her, dragging bags of rocks onto her lap, tying her up with colorful ribbons, or dancing around her in a circle.

The idea seems to be that we all carry stones in our shoes--hidden baggage--and that we must shake them out. But Fieber's character is apparently a thinly veiled version of herself, and this uncovering of mild flaws--she's judgmental, uncomfortable with silence, competitive, power hungry, and hard on herself--is neither insightful nor revealing. This is theater as therapy but with none of the personal forgiveness and cleansing of actual therapy. While the first few minutes--a meditation on silence broken by frenetic tap dancing--are promising, the piece quickly sinks into familiar territory. Fieber's monologue is full of trite sayings like "The more you know, the more powerful you are" and "I'm waiting for enlightenment." When she remarks toward the end that "all this has been said before, endlessly," one is inclined to agree.

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