The Perimeter | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Perimeter 

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Plasticene's set, sound design, and video projections are striking in this in-the-round physical-theater production, and its five committed performer-collaborators are full of energy. A Beckettian crossroads at the center of the space and what looks like a scaffolding for hanging create high stakes, and Abu Ghraib has made the subject--the relationship between colonizer and colonized, guard and prisoner--more than timely. But under Sharon Gopfert's direction, the show fails to connect. Though clearly there's a story being told, we can't tell what it is. And rather than have the emotion grow naturally out of the movement, Gopfert and her performers slather the feelings on. The result has some of the unintended ludicrousness of a silent film, with the difference that there are no intertitles to point the way, and the spread-out playing areas and two video screens sometimes make us feel we're watching a seven-ring circus. Through 11/21: Thu-Fri 8 PM, Sat 8 and 10:30 PM, Sun 7 PM. Viaduct Theater, 3111 N. Western, 312-409-0400. $15-$20, rush tickets available.

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