The Goodman Theatre is now presenting on it’s stage, the Chicago debut of David Ives’ “Venus in Fur”, a fairly sexy ( thanks in part to the leggy, sexy and somewhat irresistible Amanda Drinkall as Vanda, a young actress who arrives late for her “audition” in a New York theater ( set designed by Todd Rosenthal). Her director. who is also the playwright, Thomas ( deftly handled by Rufus Collins) is about ready to pack it in for the day, but for some strange reasons, decides to stay and let her have a go at it, despite the fact that her name does not appear on te list of actors scheduled for auditions.
Smoothly directed by Joanie Schultz, this is a two person play that brings us 100 minutes ( no intermission) of “Cat and Mouse”. Is Vanda really there for an audition? Is the play her reason for the visit or is it Tommy’s fiancée that has indeed sent her there to check up on if Tommy is indeed auditioning or fooling around? The play that he is “adopting”, not writing is about power. If the man has it or if the power becomes that of the woman. The script is based on the novella by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch ( Masochism was born from this man’s thoughts) in the late 1800’s. What we witness during these 100 minutes is a great deal of foreplay between the two people as they switch roles in power and as they get closer to what they really desire in their own personal lives, it appears that a certain amount of chemistry should take place. While the script does call for that, and I for one rooted for this to take place, the magic that I anticipated did not happen as I would have liked it to.. Tis a shame as I was truly enjoying the production and in particular the strength and power of Ms Drinkall, who is worth the price of the ticket to watch on stage ( dressed and undressed). The power of each is strong, but she by far outpowers Thomas in this one.
The technical parts of the production are key to making this a solid production , so hats off to Jenny Mannis for her costumes, Keith Parham for his superb lighting effects, Mikhail Fiksel for his sound and David Wooley for his fight direction ( which was more properly sexual possibilities direction). I am not sure who did the props, but there were many and they were well organized, mostly in Vanda’s “trick bag”.
“Venus in Fur” will continue at The Goodman Theatre located at 170 N. Dearborn Street through April 13th with performances as follows:
Wednesdays 7:30 p.m.
Thursdays 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. ( except, no 2 p.m. on 4/10)
Fridays 8 p.m.
Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m.
Sundays 2 and 7:30 p.m. ( except no evening on 4/6)
Tickets range from $25 and are available at the box office, by phone at 312-443-3800 or online at www.GoodmanTheatre.org
Mezztix are one of the Goodman specials, on sale day of production at half price. Discounted parking is available,BUT not at the city lot on Dearborn, The one you want has the entrance on Lake Street between Clark and Dearborn- Government. Bring your ticket to the theater and get a validation at the gift shop.
There are special events and pre and post show discussions visit the website for more info www.GoodmanTheatre.org
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-up and click at “Venus in Fur”