The Extinction Project | Prop Thtr | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Mondays, Sundays. Continues through Feb. 10 2014
Price: $12 online in advance, $15 or pay what you can at the door
Derek Lee Barton's contribution to this year's Rhinoceros Theater Festival is a decidedly, almost insistently idiosyncratic performance piece that combines autobiography and fantasy with a chronicle of animal and plant extinctions to produce . . . well, see, that's the problem: it's difficult to say exactly what it produces. Barton plays himself as a man on a quest to find the Florida yew tree, a rare and finicky conifer classified as extremely endangered. His investigations lead him to a forgetful old man who collaborated with Barton's grandfather on a similar hunt about 80 years earlier. We also see Barton having a sour anniversary dinner with his lover. And there are these other characters, too--a naturalist and a Disney World guide, both sweetly played by Brett Lee--who seem somehow to be extensions of Barton. Meanwhile, we get periodic presentations on various lost fish, birds, and mammals. The whole offers a fitful charm, considerable whimsy, glimpses of poetry, and hardly any clarity at all. --Tony Adler



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