Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Monday, April 15

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Performance Tue Nov 17 2009

G.I.F.T. Falls Short of its Big Idea

I really wanted to like Collaboraction's latest performance G.I.F.T.

It's such a cool idea: examine and evaluate "gift," from the action of giving, the circumstances in which we give, the feelings and motivations behind gift-giving and the impact a gift makes on the gift receiver.

G.I.F.T. brings audiences through a four-part interactive performance where you are the ensemble's client and the actors - "giftistas" - compile and evaluate your dreams, memories and hopes. The presentation of that analysis unravels into the many scenarios and outcomes (wanted and unwanted) of gift-giving.

See? It sounds cool. But I couldn't get behind it.

The audience involvement was at times awkward with these other-worldy giftistas. The actors certainly played each mini-scene well, portraying the emotions and the baggage that goes along with gifts. But the underlying dynamic of one young giftista being "ready" was lost on me. Whether it was because the beings were so other-wordly or because we never got a chance to empathize with them, I didn't find myself caring one way or another what happened to these giftistas or what I was supposed to get from them. The performance didn't bring me in and that is disappointing because, like I said, it is such a good idea.

Dress warmly. Much of the performance is outside, and the space inside is chilly.

G.I.F.T. runs through Nov. 29 on Fridays and Saturdays at Collaboraction's performance space at 1850 W. Hubbard. Tikets are $15-$25. Visit or call 312-226-9633

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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