The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui | Trap Door Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Derek Jeck and Dennis Bisto

Derek Jeck and Dennis Bisto

Beata Pilch

When: Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through April 22 2017
Price: $20-$25
trapdoortheatre.com
Bertolt Brecht set this bludgeoning satire of government corruption in a comic-book 30s gangland Chicago, but wrote it in 1941 to protest Hitler’s rise in his native Germany. Given the recent fascistic turn on these shores, this material wouldn’t lack resonance even in less capable hands, but Victor Quezada-Perez directs the hell out of it: he's able to find subtlety and nuance even where Brecht’s words lack either. And this Trap Door production is visually and aurally stunning, with a large cast—most playing multiple roles, all in pancake makeup and clown noses—that's uniformly excellent. Each is constantly sniffing loudly through those red snouts as if to drive home the all-encompassing stench of their fictive Chicago. They're only able to breathe easily through their own nostrils after being gunned down, as if freed from a lifetime of holding their noses to get through the days. —Dmitry Samarov

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