Chopin Theatre's international vision grows

Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun Times

"The Chopin Theatre has made a huge effort in recent years to import some of the more interesting, imaginative and controversial theater productions on the European scene.

Two works are now being showcased in the fourth edition of its I-Fest, and , as producer Zygmunt Dykracz explains, "they represent the growing population of individuals influenced by the new realities of the 21st century - global culture, international migration, mixed marriages and more." Included are:

YASSER,a solo piece by Moroccan-born playwright Abdelkadir Benalis that homes in on a young Palestinian actor who is living and working in Europe, and who is in a state of multilayered chaos as he prepares to play the role of Shylock, the Jewish character at the center of Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice". The 60 minute play is performed by William El-gardi, a British-based Sudanese-Egyptian actor.

A Propos of the Wet Snow , - a 90 minute adaptation by Russian-Ukrainian bred Oleg Liptsin (who also stars and directs) of the Dostoevsky classic, "Notes from the Underground". The work, featuring Ai-Cheng Ho as a prostitute, takes the form of the rambling existential "diary" of a retired civil servant in St. Petersburg, Russia - a man whose paranoia and bitterness compels him to act out in self destructive ways that are ultimately his own expression of freedom.

Presented back to back (tickets are $15 for one show or $20 for both), performances run through Nov 9th at the Chopin Theatre".