Teatime at Golgotha | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Teatime at Golgotha 

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Mark Chrisler's heady mix of history, myth, and hallucination gives this year's New Play festival at Prop Thtr its raison d'etre. Three trios of despairing characters from different historical periods face existential crises. Roman soldiers Longinus, Quintus, and Cabral are killing time while Christ dies (offstage); 16th-century astronomer Tycho Brahe, his assistant Johannes Kepler, and Tycho's clairvoyant dwarf servant ponder Tycho's legacy as he faces imminent death; and present-day nobodies Nicholas, Michael, and Ianthe are caught in a potentially dangerous love triangle. As these worlds are gradually interwoven, it becomes apparent that all the characters are stuck in emotionally charged ruts, waiting for the hand of fate to intervene and guide them. When it does, it's a sublimely ridiculous metatheatrical moment. Director Kevlyn Hayes keeps Chrisler's dense, witty text in sharp focus. a Through 8/11: Fri-Sat 7 PM, Prop Thtr, 3502-4 N. Elston, 773-539-7838, $15. --Justin Hayford

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