This weekend (Fri. and Sat. at 8 p.m. and Sat. and Sun. at 4 p.m.) is your last chance to catch "The Silent Language," a magical production by TUTA Theatre Chicago. Anyone intrigued by the imaginative environments theater can conjure should try to see it.
Enter the second floor loft space of TUTA at 2010 W. Fulton and you might think you've stumbled into a wholly enchanted gypsy caravan camp, with great swaths of fabric draped from the rafters, a battered piano in one corner, battered trunks in another. The suggestive sounds of birds and other creatures can be heard in the background.
This is the fairy tale world of "The Silent Language," and the place where Poor Gasho, a hapless fellow, unexpectedly acquires the ability to hear and understand those animal "languages" and the those of the rest of nature, from the wind to the water. Gasho also becomes hellbent on saving an imprisoned princess held captive by a classic ogre. The show, in its U.S. premiere, is the work of Serbian playwright Miodrag Stanisavljevic. But the real enchantment here has less to do with the script than with the way director Jacqueline Stone has brought it to wondrous life.
Stone gets fine support from composer Wain Parham (a wacky Balkan band sequence is irresistible), from choreographer Ailen McGrody (who has staged a terrific Serbian wedding dance), as well as from her nimble cast of seven delightfully wily, frequently morphing actors (Max Lotspeich as Gasho , Laurie Larson, Jaimelyn Gray, Angela Bullard, Sean Ewert, Aaron Lawson and Carolyn Molloy). But the true brilliance here lies in the design team. Bravos for Michelle Lilly (set), Branimira Ivanova (costumes), Kirk Anderson (masks) and Joe Court (sound).
Tickets for the 90-minute show (a trim would have made it stronger), come in the form of suggested donations of $25 for adults and $15 for kids (age eight and up). The audience is seated on everything from posh antique chairs to settees. Call (800) 838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com).