Friday, November 19, 2010

Play of the Week: In the Jungle of Cities

Brecht's one and only play to be set in his idea of Chicago is In the Jungle of Cities. It is a tale of greed and how money ruins both those who have it and those who don't. While you would think that this offering would be more popular among Chicago theaters, Ka-Tet Theatre is currently running the only production this blogger can remember - but that's not to say that I'm wrong. The play's overly complex language and plot makes it one of the less accessible Brechtian plays.

Ka-Tet's ambitious production takes the ideas of alienation to the extreme. Character not only don't alway look at each other when speaking, they often don't even touch each other both in violence and lust. While it is a very interesting concept, director Max Truax does not remain consistent with his choices. This production is an excellent staging of the play, however, the alienation not only alienates us from the actors but the actors from each other. If you are looking for a engaging story, this is not the play for you. But is you are interested in fascinating staging combined with stunningly beautiful design, this is the play for you. It is an intellectual treat.

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