Thursday February 22nd 2018

“Metamorphoses”

Recommended*** Lookingglass Theatre is a company that accepts challenge and over the years has proven that creativity is the heart and soul of their ensemble. In 1998, they first presented “Matamorphoses” , a play that retells the story of Ovid’s ancient myths. In their wonderful space located in the Water Tower at Pearson and Michigan, they are able to rebuild for each production and for this one, they have assembled a swimming pool at the center of the space with seating on three sides. This allows the creator/director, Mary Zimmerman to make the storytelling stronger, with great imagery.The story has been adapted by David Slavitt from the original Ovid’s “Metamorphosis” and has a solid cast of players ( some of the original player have returned) made up of Usman Ally, Anjali Bhimani, Lawrence E. DiStasi, Marilyn Dodds Frank, Anna Fogarty, Raymond Fox, Doug Hara, Chris Kipiniak, Loise Lamson and Lauren Orkus.

The set design surrounding the pool (Daniel Ostling) is very striking and the lighting (T.J. Gerckens) sets the mood for the stories we are being told. Mara Blumenfeld’s costumers and the sound( Andre Pluess) and original music( Willie Schwarz) are the pieces that complete the wholeness of this rebirth of an award winning show. Theater should be entertaining and the experience, memorable. This production is as solid as the original in all ways and those sitting in the first two rows are offered towels as there is a great deal of action in the pool. I sat in the first row and only felt a bit of moisture, but it never allowed me to stray from the strong performances I viewed.

Mythology is not everyone’s “cup of tea”, but what we see in this work is much more contemorary and far easier to understand. Myths are a form of fairy tale and if presented as such ( which Zimmerman does to perfection) they can be fun to watch and once viewed, discuss. Midas, Phaeton,Hermes,Aphrodite and many others take on a different nature and become more realistic in this dazzling and powerful production. The storytelling is filled with mystery, romance and humor and young or old, will become a theatrical experience that will linger with you for many years to come. Having seen it many years ago, I found this production one that brought back some memories. The production will continue at Lookingglass Theatre located at 821 N. Michigan Avenue ( at Pearson) through November 18th with performances as follows:

Tuesdays 7:30 p.m.( 10/9,10/23 and 11/6 ONLY),Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m., Thursdays at 3 p.m. (10/18,11/1 and 11/15 ONLY) and 7:30 p.m.,Fridays at 7:30 p.m.,Saturdays at 3 and 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 and 7:30 p.m.

Tickets range from $36-$70 and can be purchased at the box office, by phone at 312-337-0665 or online at www.lookingglasstheatre.org

Special values: Target Saturday matinees buy one get one for 3 p.m. performance

Student $20 tix  if available day of show for $20

Discounted parking is avaolable at John Hancock Center and Olympia Centre self park ( 161 E Chicago Avenue) bring your stub for validation.

to see more, go to my home page, link on to theatre in chicago, go to review round-up and click “Metamorphoses”

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