The Dastardly Ficus and Other Comedic Tales of Woe and Misery | Chopin Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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The Dastardly Ficus and Other Comedic Tales of Woe and Misery 

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through April 4 2009
Phone: 773-598-8240
Price: $20
www.strangetree.org
Emily Schwartz's suite of four charmingly morbid vignettes centers on the Derbyshire sisters: Geneva, a prim spinster out of an Edward Gorey story, and Jennifer, who lives on reverie and parlor mints, and apparently takes her fashion cues from the Bette Davis character in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Each scene follows the same basic trajectory. Jennifer gets Geneva mixed up in a romantic fantasy involving eccentric props (a dead cat, a severed head, a Zorro rerun, a gentleman caller) that pushes Geneva to the limits of her patience. But equilibrium is regained each time, through luck, love, and a powerful wit. Schwartz is a master storyteller, and, under Amanda Berg Wilson's direction for the Strange Tree Group--which premiered the show in 2004--Carol Enoch and Nancy Friedrich make the sisters' relationship at once disturbing and overwhelmingly endearing. --Tony Adler

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