Yasser | Chopin Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Nov. 9 2008
Phone: 773-278-1500
Price: $15, two for $20
In this contribution to Chopin Theatre's I-Fest (see separate listing), William El-Gardi plays Yasser, a Palestinian actor working in England. Yasser's done pretty well for himself despite the politically problematic first name, but today was horrible. Thugs took a valise containing the fake nose he uses to play Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. The irony, of course, is that his own Semitic proboscis would work just fine. Yasser's acknowledgement of that fact triggers a 60-minute, high-energy monologue plumbing an identity that's uncomfortably like the valise: full of roles and no longer in Yasser's possession. El-Gardi is accomplished and engaging, but often too hyper. There were times when I wished he'd slow down so I could savor the poetic, paradoxical text by Moroccan-Dutch writer Abdelkader Benali. --Tony Adler



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