Review “Through The Leaves” (Side Project Theatre): Heartbreaking yet Hopeful

Reviewed by Sara Eisenbaum and Katrina L. Wyss

Side Project Theatre presents Through the Leaves.

“Through the Leaves” is a play that represents well what happens when stream of consciousness takes center stage. The play centers around a middle aged woman in Germany who is a butcher. While she does not outwardly struggle with the fact that she has status and power from a position that is traditionally held by men, her boyfriend is introduced to antagonize her and the ideas that she stands for. The true standout of the play is the juxtaposition of the lead actress with the muted tones of blue as she recounts musings from her diary. The music, the lighting, and especially the stillness cause audience members to be embraced also by their own lingering thoughts about who and what they are. While there is clearly an edge of strangeness to this play (a bathtub scene with a wooden head that still has me saying, ‘what was that?!’) the overarching focus is the relationship of male to female and how much power dynamics still play a great role in gender role dynamics. The male figure in the play is often odious and awkward.  The play is a commentary on the way settling is often a way of life for women and is heartbreaking yet hopeful at its core.

At The Side Project Theatre, 1439 W. Jarvis, Chicago, IL 60626

Written by F.X. Kroetz; Translated by Roger Downey

Directed by Andy Hager

Thursdays thru Saturdays at 7:30pm; Sundays at 7pm

Thru February 1, 2014

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