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.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Wednesday, December 7

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« A Pro"mo" For This Month's Madcap Mo Show "1st Amendment Stand-Up": An Interview With Doug Williams »

Theatre Sun May 09 2010

Review: The Ghost Sonata @ Oracle Theatre

There's plenty of crazy talk in Stringberg's modernist chamber play, The Ghost Sonata. Discussions of insanity, asylums and madness abound in this story of a wide-eyed student's descent into a hellish Stockholm apartment, but Max Truax's fearless production for Oracle Theatre does the masterful job of making Strindberg's batty, and at times impenetrable, language fresh, raucous, and most importantly, accessible.

"Accessible," though, should not be mistaken for "comprehensible." The Ghost Sonata will often baffle, but Truax shrouds Strindberg's psycho-babble in a ghostly fog that envelops the audience rather than distances them. It's so easy to get lost in the patterned surreality that accompanies the smoky projections, pulsing score, and heightened performances that the language itself almost becomes an extension of the music. Rich Logan's beautifully terrifying portrayal of the vampiric Jacob Hummel, who embodies a sort of toothy malevolence through his quaking voice and ghostly pallor, anchors an ensemble who, for the most part, feel pitch perfect. John Arthur Lewis could teach a master class in precision, making every gesture count, and Stephanie Polt, looking decidedly porcelain, acts the hell out of an underwritten role. Oracle company members Justin Warren and Sean Ewert, on the other hand, never truly earn their moments of madness, performing in a style that often feels too contemporary for this material.

The real star of this production, though, is Truax, a young director who's already made a strong impression at Oracle (where he directed 2008's Termen Vox Machina) and Trap Door Theatre, where he is a Resident Director. While a few deliberate choices fall flat (a clumsy dialogue-syncing sequence comes to mind), they're still bold choices, and it's this boldness that makes The Ghost Sonata so much fun. Strindberg? Fun? Yes. Spooky, creepy, crazy, hellish fun.

The Ghost Sonata opened this past Saturday, May 8, and runs through June 19 at Oracle Theatre (3809 N. Broadway). Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 7pm. Tickets are a $20 suggested donations Friday and Saturday, and a $10 suggested donation on Sundays. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the box office at 773-244-2980.

GB store
GB store

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 »


An Angry White Guy
AREA Chicago
ArchitectureChicago Plus
Arts Engagement Exchange
The Art Letter
Art or Idiocy?
Art Slant Chicago
Art Talk Chicago
Bad at Sports
Bite and Smile
Brian Dickie of COT
Bridgeport International
Carrie Secrist Gallery
Chainsaw Calligraphy
Chicago Art Blog
Chicago Art Department
Chicago Art Examiner
Chicago Art Journal
Chicago Artists Resource
Chicago Art Map
Chicago Art Review
Chicago Classical Music
Chicago Comedy Examiner
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Daily Views
Chicago Film Examiner
Chicago Film Archives
Chicago Gallery News
Chicago Uncommon
Contemporary Art Space
Co-op Image Group
Co-Prosperity Sphere
Chicago Urban Art Society
Creative Control
Devening Projects
DIY Film
The Exhibition Agency
The Flatiron Project
F newsmagazine
The Gallery Crawl...
Galerie F
The Gaudy God
Happy Dog Gallery
Homeroom Chicago
I, Homunculus
Hyde Park Artcenter Blog
Joyce Owens: Artist on Art
Julius Caesar
Kasia Kay Gallery
Kavi Gupta Gallery
Rob Kozlowski
Lookingglass Theatre Blog
Lumpen Blog
Mess Hall
Neoteric Art
Not If But When
Noun and Verb
On Film
On the Make
Peanut Gallery
Peregrine Program
The Poor Choices Show
Pop Up Art Loop
The Post Family
The Recycled Film
Reversible Eye
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Roots & Culture Gallery
The Seen
Sisterman Vintage
Site of Big Shoulders
Sixty Inches From Center
Soleil's To-Do's
Sometimes Store
Stop Go Stop
Storefront Rebellion
TOC Blog
Theater for the Future
Theatre in Chicago
The Franklin
The Mission
The Theater Loop
Thomas Robertello Gallery
Time Tells Tony Wight Gallery
Uncommon Photographers
The Unscene Chicago
The Visualist
Western Exhibitions
What's Going On?
What to Wear During an Orange Alert?
You, Me, Them, Everybody
Zg Gallery

GB store



A/C on Flickr

Join the A/C Flickr Pool.

About A/C

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

Editor: Nancy Bishop,
A/C staff inbox:



A/C Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15