Sideshow’s “Caught” Review – Multi-Layered Script Gem

(left to right) Ann James and Ben Chang in Sideshow Theatre Company’s Chicago premiere of CAUGHT by Christopher Chen, directed Seth Bockley. Photo by Jonathan L. Green

 

“The fourth wall” in theater is an expression referring to the barrier between the play’s story and the audience.  In playwright Christopher Chen’s “Caught”, that imaginary fourth wall doesn’t just give way.  Rather, you find yourself suspended inside it, and then realize it’s really the ceiling, or the floor, or maybe the Coney Island style looking glass.

 

(left to right) Ben Chang, Ann James and Bob Kruse in Sideshow Theatre Company’s Chicago premiere of CAUGHT by Christopher Chen, directed Seth Bockley. Photo by Jonathan L. Green

 

In Sideshow Theatre Company’s most able hands, there IS one thing you’re sure of – it’s fun. 

 

(left to right) Ann James and Helen Young in Sideshow Theatre Company’s Chicago premiere of CAUGHT by Christopher Chen, directed Seth Bockley. Photo by Jonathan L. Green

 

Truth is the subject of this play –touching on art, politics, cultural divides, fiction and non-fiction--but that’s about as far as this reviewer wants to go in detailing the action.  The potential for spoilers is so huge with this script that you won’t be given a program until you leave.   Odds are that after the show you’ll be using that program to Google around a bit to plumb the contours of the truth-fiction divide in the script.

 

left to right) Helen Young and Ben Chang in Sideshow Theatre Company’s Chicago premiere of CAUGHT by Christopher Chen, directed Seth Bockley. Photo by Jonathan L. Green

 

Go prepared for a story unfolding, re-folding and unfolding again like nested Russian dolls.

 

Go knowing that both Chen’s multi-layered script, and the actors super delivery of his or her lines (Director:   Seth Bockley) will often make you laugh out loud.

 

(left to right) Ann James and Helen Young in Sideshow Theatre Company’s Chicago premiere of CAUGHT by Christopher Chen, directed Seth Bockley. Photo by Jonathan L. Green

 

Sideshow ensemble member Ann James delivers a particularly strong performance with every gesture and inflection of her mellifluous voice.   We haven’t seen such good slow burns since the silent movies. 

 

(pictured) Ben Chang in Sideshow Theatre Company’s Chicago premiere of CAUGHT by Christopher Chen, directed Seth Bockley. Photo by Jonathan L. Green

 

Ben Chang too gives a memorable performance, with a quick-change chameleon ability that goes a long way to carry the day.

 

Not to be missed, “Caught” runs now until July 3.

 

For tickets or information visit the Victory Gardens website or call 773 871 3000.

 

Victory Gardens Richard Christiansen Theater

2433 North Lincoln

Chicago

 

 

 

 

 

 

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