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The Last Two Minutes of the Complete Works of Henrik Ibsen

The Norwegian playwright's famously dire conclusions are celebrated in this theatrical medley.

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Avalanches, suicides, and syphilis are among the fates that unravel in the final moments of Henrik Ibsen's 26 plays, and Chicago's Neo-Futurists attack them with relish. Creator Greg Allen, the man behind Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind (30 Plays in 60 Minutes), is a veteran of the rapid-artillery form, though he tends to downplay the clock in this nearly two-hour production. Ibsen's hyper-dramatic endings, considered scandalously realistic in the late 19th century, lend themselves easily to ironic renditions, and the troupe's variety of formats—drama with commentary, cast rehearsal, kitchen table puppetry with ketchup and mustard bottles—turns the art of theater itself into this production's unifying thread. While Allen has his inspired moments, such as his multiple takes on "The Wild Duck" based on numerous translations of a single line, and a straight reading of "A Doll's House," most scenes run, strangely enough, too long. Considering the premise, this production should be tighter. All Allen needs to do is stick more firmly to his titular conceit.

The Last Two Minutes of the Complete Works of Henrik Ibsen
By Henrik Ibsen, Devised, Written, and Adapted by Greg Allen
Ace of Clubs
Mon, Aug 22 at 6:45 p.m.; Wed, Aug 24 at 7:45 p.m.; Thu, Aug 25 at 7:45 p.m.; Fri, Aug 26 at 4 p.m.; Sat, Aug 27 at noon.


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