Voyeurs de Venus | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Voyeurs de Venus 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Somewhere in Lydia R. Diamond's overlong, overwritten theatrical exercise is a powerful play. She interweaves the stories of Saartjie Baartman, the 19th-century "Hottentot" displayed like a circus animal for five years to European "polite" society, and Sara Washington, a present-day feminist academic offered a lucrative book deal to write Baartman's biography. But in our era of revisionist history, the play's animating crisis--Washington can't imagine telling the story without becoming as exploitative as Baartman's colonialist captors--makes no sense. Extended dance sequences and extraneous subplots further dilute the work. Given the provocative material, however, and Diamond's knack for revealing character through deftly pointed dialogue, she may find her play in a rewrite or two. Through 4/15: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago, 312-633-0630, $10-$25.

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?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
February 22
Performing Arts
February 08

Popular Stories