The La Ronde Project | Stage 773 | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through April 15 2013
Price: $10-$60
Shakespeare used the food chain to prove that it's a small world after all. When Polonius gets his behind the arras in Hamlet, the sarcastic prince of Denmark muses that a poor man might eat a fish that's fed on a worm that's dined on a dead royal—and thus, "a king may go a progress through the guts of a beggar." Arthur Schnitzler's innovation was to make the same point using sex. His Reigen (written 1897, privately published 1900, first publicly performed 1921) follows a carnal round-robin as it goes a progress through the Austro-Hungarian caste system. Popularly known as La Ronde—on the grounds, I guess, that French always sounds more seductive—Schnitzler's piece isn't really a play as such but a collection of scenes that starts with a prostitute, Leocadia, giving a soldier a freebie. The soldier next shares intimacies with a chambermaid, who's subsequently accosted by Alfred, the randy son of her employer. Alfred moves on to a bourgeois married woman, who then finds herself in the oddly wholesome circumstance of making love with her own husband in her own conjugal bed. The sleazy order of things is restored, however, when the husband not only picks up a girl on the street but slips her a Mickey to make her compliant. She rebounds from that to mess with a playwright, who messes with an actress, who in turn messes with a philosophical nobleman, who, finally, spends a night with Leocadia, the whore who got things rolling in the first place. Continue reading >>



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