The City & the City | Lifeline Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through April 7 2013
Price: $20-$40
If you liked Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union and Haruki Murakami's 1Q84, then there's an excellent chance that China Mieville's The City and the City will appeal to you, too. A police procedural with satirical weird-fiction proclivities, Mieville's 2010 novel posits two eastern European city-states, Beszel and Ul Qoma, that literally overlap. To maintain their metaterritorial integrity, the citizens of each entity have been trained and terrorized into "unseeing" their neighbors. A person on the other side of the mental border just isn't there, even if she's standing right in front of you. It's a brilliant, funny, resonant conceit, and I can imagine what a seductive challenge it was for Christopher Walsh, who's adapted the novel, and Dorothy Milne, who's directed this world-premiere production for Lifeline Theatre. Milne's done an ingenious job of realizing Walsh's script, but the show fails anyway: the Beszel/Ul Quoma mindfuck is so complex that it demands either loads of confusing talk or a surpassingly elegant visual solution. Too often Walsh and Milne give in to the confusing talk. Still, this is one of the best failures you're likely to see. —Tony Adler



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