When I tell you that the House Theatre’s newest show is a theatrical adaptation of “Moby Dick” that is also about a theater company attempting to put on a theatrical adaptation of “Moby Dick” and is also a three-and-a-half hour long minor epic and is also a meditation on the evolution of the House Theatre itself while also being a meditation on the relationship between theater and theater criticism and is last but not least heavily steeped in the minutiae of the Chicago storefront theater scene, I know exactly what you are going to say. You are going to say “Oh that is exactly the kind of show that I have been longing to see and I will definitely be buying my ticket immediately.” Well here’s the thing, you hypothetical straw-man sarcastic jerk: it is, and you should, and yes immediately.
Written by Shawn Pfautsch and directed by Jess McLeod, “Season On The Line” is indeed all the things I have mentioned above. It is clearly not a show that is afraid of appealing to too broad an audience, even as it actually is a show with broad appeal. It is a story about being in love with this crazy thing that you do whilst simultaneously realizing that being in love with this thing is in and of itself totally crazy and you should probably start doing something else before this destroys you. It is one hundred and ten percent a play about a play and also 100% a show just about being a human being trying to connect with other human beings. And at three-and-a-half hours, it is actually able to be 200% of a show, without ever seeming longer than, oh, say, two-and-a-half. (Try telling someone that a show was a “fast” three-and-a-half hours some time. It gets a great laugh. Or an expletive. Or both) Read the rest of this entry »