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« Date Night, My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?, After.Life, The Greatest, and When You're Strange Hello Human Female at Gorilla Tango Theatre »

Theatre Fri Apr 09 2010

Chicago Dell'arte's The Literati @ The RBP Rorschach

Isn't there a stage adaptation of Nicholas Nickleby that runs more than eight hours? Yes, there is. Who thought that was a good idea? Someone who knows it's near impossible to capture the passion, heart, and depth of an epic novel in a couple hours, much less onstage where your resources are that much more limited. Look at Steppenwolf's beautiful, but ultimately frustrating, adaptation of Murakami's Kafka on the Shore last year: there was just simply too much source material to tell an adequate story in two hours.

Premiering tonight, Chicago dell'Arte's new show, The Literati, puts a spin on the idea of adaptation, valuing the art of performance above commitment to the story. Throughout their run, they won't be retelling one story, but 25. Every performance, five randomly selected audience members will roll a die, determining which five mini-adaptations will be performed that night. Incorporating a range of Commedia styles, classics such as Ulysses, Don Quixote, and Jane Eyre will be transformed into rock operas, puppet shows, and who knows what else.

According to the trio who make up Chicago dell'Arte, artistic director Ned Record, Derek Jarvis, and Nick Freed, "there is a 1 in 3125 chance of seeing the same show twice, and a 94% chance of seeing a majority of new material on a return visit." I like those odds.

The Literati opens tonight and runs through May 1 at the RBP Rorschach (4001 N. Ravenswood). Shows start at 8pm on Thursdays, 8pm and 10:30pm on Friday and Saturdays, and 7pm on Sundays. Reservations are highly recommended and admission is a $15 suggested donation. Reserve your tickets by calling the box office at 773-947-4191 or e-mailing tickets@chicagodellarte.com.

 
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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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A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
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