uBung (Practice) | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

uBung (Practice) 

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When children take on adult personas, the result is generally either way too cute (Bugsy Malone) or hilarious (The Daily Show's occasional segment in which kids read transcripts from the world of talking-head punditry). In uBung (Practice), Belgian multidisciplinary production company Victoria does something more adventurous. Young actors age 10 to 14 deliver the dialogue for a silent black-and-white film of an adult dinner party in a sumptuous home, expertly synchronizing their lines with the on-screen motions of their grown-up counterparts. The script itself is a blend of ham-handed erudition (one joke goes "Do you know why the Hutus don't like Dustin Hoffman? Because he was in Tootsie") and drunken psychological cruelty reminiscent of Edward Albee's plays. The show, which has toured internationally with a changing cast of kids, was created by Belgian actor-director Josse de Pauw for Victoria; admittedly child-phobic, he undertook a two-year residency that forced him to work with kids in order to examine what he considers to be the myth of childhood innocence. The result promises to be unsettling. 11/4-11/6: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM. Museum of Contemporary Art, theater, 220 E. Chicago, 312-397-4010. $22 Thu-Fri; $15 Sat as part of Chicago Humanities Festival (see sidebar in Readings & Lectures).

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