Terra Nova | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Terra Nova 

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Playwright Ted Tally imagines what life was like for explorer Robert Falcon Scott and four other Englishmen who died while returning from the south pole in 1912. In this BackStage Theatre Company production of Tally's 1977 play, Scott experiences a lot of hallucinations of his wife in a bad wig and his Norwegian rival, Roald Amundsen, speaking in an absurd Yakov Smirnoff accent. Other than these missteps, director Brandon Bruce has staged a solid, gripping drama about men battling nature and what it means to be a member of a team. As usual, Bruce excels at orchestrating ensemble work, but here Seth Zurer and Marcus Kamie stand out as frostbite victims whose deaths are preceded by stir-crazy breakdowns. Their loopy madness in the face of a frozen grave is the real deal. Through 12/18: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 7 PM. Thu 12/9 and 12/16, 8 PM. Stage Left Theatre, 3408 N. Sheffield, 312-683-5347. $12-$15.

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