Twin Houses | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Twin Houses 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

There's something eerie about puppets, however cuddly: rationally we know Kermit and Kukla are just souped-up dolls animated by hand, but they seem so alive it's hard to get past the illusion. And when the puppets are life-size and made to look as real as possible--as they are in the Belgian Compagnie Nicole Mossoux & Patrick Bonte's moody Twin Houses--they're downright threatening. Which is the point of this troubling solo piece, directed by Bonte, in which Mossoux--who both plays a character and works the mannequinlike puppets--encounters various malevolent entities: knife-wielding women, aggressively affectionate lovers. It's fascinating to watch these creatures emerge, like Siamese twins, out of Mossoux's clothing and then take on--with a tilt of the head, a gesture of an arm, the kick of a leg--a life of their own. It's also a testament to Mossoux's gifts as a performer--in press materials she's identified as a dancer, and certainly she has a dancer's grace and control--that even as she brings the puppets to life she maintains her own somber, anhedonic persona. All without speaking a single word. Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, 722-5463 or 902-1500. September 24 and 25: Tuesday-Wednesday, 7:30 PM. $19-$28.

--Jack Helbig

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Mikha Wajnrych.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Jack Helbig

Popular Stories