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Theatre Thu Feb 11 2010

The Cabinet @ Redmoon Theatre

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Robert Wiene's silent and spooky 1920 film about a deranged doctor and his sleepwalking servant is mostly remembered by cinephiles for its German Expressionist elements, mainly its distorted set design and jagged edges. Redmoon's The Cabinet, a live-actor-and-puppet retelling of the classic tale is so powerful because theirs is not just a feast for the eyes, it's a feast for the soul.

While it still traverses the same territory as the film, Redmoon's story shifts the focus to Cesare, Caligari's somnambulist slave, who croaks out his story through the rattle and crackle of an old gramophone. Narrator Colm O'Reilly's voice alone, bony and bathed in ash, evokes a metallic wasteland that is enhanced that much more by its labyrinthine set and the jerky, mechanical movements of the puppeteers, who seem to be more in fear of the evil doctor than the puppets they control. A slowburn of mounting tension, The Cabinet ratchets up the terror until the climactic scream, breathtaking in its near-endlessness, transforms the horror into something sublime, a moment of profound catharsis that united my packed theatre in one massive exhale.

Horror, puppets, spectacle and story -- there's something for everybody (as long as you're over 13).

The Cabinet runs at Redmoon Central (1463 W. Hubbard Street) Thursdays at 8pm, Fridays at 8pm and 10pm, Saturdays at 6pm and 9pm and Sundays at 3pm. Tickets range between $15 and $25 and can be purchased online or by calling 312.850.8440 x 111.

 
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Lisa / February 13, 2010 9:38 PM

tell those people in the front row to sit back in their seats. Haven't seen this show but other puppet theatre where the bodies of the audience were so on the edge of their seats that you couldn't see the action around them. If you are behind them, politely ask them to sit back if this is the problem.

Lisa / February 13, 2010 9:55 PM

Take away my embarrassing comment, PLEASE!

Redmoon Box Office / April 11, 2010 3:54 PM

Redmoon has extended through April 25th!!!! Purchase tickets now for your last chance to see The Cabinet.

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By Nancy Bishop

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