The Girl in the Iron Mask | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Girl in the Iron Mask 

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Adapter R.L. Nesvet adds a feminist twist to the Alexandre Dumas tale of intrigue: in her version, the imprisoned masked figure is Louis XIV's twin sister rather than twin brother. The first play in Babes With Blades' program for the development of new works, Nesvet's drama provides plenty of opportunities for swordplay, which the performers seize with zest and skill. But the weak script includes characters with no real function (the historical Duchess of Montpensier, a fictional Afro-Caribbean escaped slave), and it ends abruptly and enigmatically. Under the circumstances, Dawn "Sam" Alden gives a surprisingly moving performance as Artemis, the fencing nun, and Alison Dornheggen as Louis/Louise lightens the melodrama a bit in the Sun King's buffoonish early scenes. --Laura Molzahn a Through 4/15: Thu-Sat 8:30 PM, Sun 3:30 PM, Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark, 773-338-2177, $15-$18, industry nights Sun (except closing night).

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