What of the Night? | Theater Wit | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Casey Morris and Miguel Nuñez in What of the Night?

Casey Morris and Miguel Nuñez in What of the Night?

Ian McLaren

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 12 2017
Price: $18-$30
The title comes from Isaiah, but it's Maria Irene Fornés who does the prophecying in this collection of four one-acts. A sordid family saga, Fornés's tale starts in 1938, with mama Nadine scraping through the Depression by turning tricks while Charlie, her simple-minded eldest, steals for a brutal, Fagin-like fence. Skip next to 1958 and Nadine's sweet, needy daughter Rainbow, who finds herself in mom's line of work despite America's postwar boom. Then it's on to the years between 1968 and 1983, when wised-up Ray, whom Nadine gave up for adoption, is happy to get (literally) fucked in the ass for entry into the upper classes. Finally, Fornés offers us a peek into the dystopian future following a societal meltdown. Through it all, the enduring values are cruelty, scarcity, exploitation, and weaponized love. Carlos Murillo's staging for Stage Left and Cor theaters features some solid performances (especially by Miguel Nuñez as the Fagin), striking images, and pacing that makes the three-hour running time move well. But when the action drops below a certain height—characters sitting on the floor, say—only the first row can see.
—Tony Adler

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