The Rimers of Eldritch | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Rimers of Eldritch 

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Lanford Wilson's evil Eldritch, a small midwestern mill town on the skids, is no Mayberry. It's a dump where boredom, hypocrisy, ignorance, and envy contend for the souls of the citizens. So there can be no loss of innocence when two crimes--a murder and a sexual assault--emerge from the townspeople's constant chorus of mean-spirited gossip: Wilson stirs a witch's brew of tiny tales, overlapping dialogue, and ironic hymns in his 1966 play. Director Steven Fedoruk's 17 cast members tautly transform the script's "collages" into a devastating group portrait in this Eclipse Theatre Company production. Fred A. Wellisch achieves a kind of outlaw nobility as the pariah who knows Eldritch's secret sins--this is one murder mystery that manages to indict everyone. Watching it, you imagine a dozen other crimes that could just as easily have claimed the stage. Through 5/15: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM. Victory Gardens Theater, second-floor studio, 2257 N. Lincoln, 773-871-3000. $16-$22.

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