How Could Anyone Forget "Moby Dick"? More summer theater in Chicago


Well, I did!  We "experienced" the full Moby at Lookingglass Theater on June 17th.  Lookingglass has become known for productions that combine drama with circus-type athleticism, imaginative staging and solid acting.  But reduce Moby Dick to two and a half hours?  Presenting a book as a drama is difficult enough, but MD is a novel inside of a natural history text.  And they did it very well.  


For me, hearing and seeing the beginning line, "Call me Ishmael", was like meeting an old friend in person.  The coffin was the central icon from the beginning.  The staging included stripping whale blubber off the hoop skirts of "whale ladies", men climbing and swinging from the rigging over 2/3 of the theater, a Greek chorus of New Bedford widows - there was hardly a factor in the plot that went usused.  Thankfully, they did not "waste" hours informing us about the different kinds of whales, my least favorite section of the book.  

Lookingglass is located at the old Water Tower at Pearson and Michigan, so a prime tourist area. Their productions combine the excellence and edginess of the Chicago theater scene with enough "tourist wow" to keep the crowds attending.  Their current production, which we will miss by one day, is Treasure Island, adapted by Mary Zimmerman.  If you plan to be in Chicago, don't miss it.