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Theater Oobleck Remounts 'The Strangerer' April 4th

Bush, Kerry and Camus Meet Again at Chopin Theatre Beginning April 4th. Just in time for election season 2008, Theater Oobleck remounts Mickle Maher's smash hit The Strangerer at The Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division.

Opening April 4th at 8 p.m. Mickle Maher, Guy Massey, Colm O'Reilly and Brian Shaw star in The Strangerer, deconstructing the first George Bush/John Kerry presidential debate with a satirical twist inspired by the Albert Camus classic 'The Stranger.'  The Strangerer marks the beginning of Theater Oobleck's 20th anniversary season.

Maher took inspiration from one of the books on President Bush's 2006 vacation reading list, Albert Camus' absurdist tale of senseless murder, 'The Stranger.' Maher has hopes that the French philosopher's stories may shed some light on the current political climate–or vice versa. The Strangerer connects several of Camus' works with the first Bush/Kerry presidential debate in 2004. The formalities of the debate are overturned as Bush and Kerry struggle with the question-not of if or why an innocent man should be killed (the man in question being moderator Jim Lehrer), but rather what is the proper manner in which to go about killing him. The Strangerer is part political satire, part classical drama, and part contemporary debate. A murder mystery with the murderers in plain view, it asks one of the most important questions of our day: "Why does our president want to kill so many innocent people?"

 Mickle Maher (background) Guy Massey, Colm O'Reilly (foreground l to r)

Maher acknowledges, "Trying to say something smart about Bush is monumentally frustrating. The theater that attempts it is today's Sisyphus–an example of absurd futility–forever pushing the stone up the mountain only to have it come crashing back down. But of course, Camus said Sisyphus was made happy by his torture, so who am I to gripe?" 

In addition to 'The Stranger' and The Myth of 'Sisyphus,' Maher pulls from other Camus works, including 'The Plague' and 'The Fall,' in an attempt to make sense of what he calls "the noise and blather of the current administration."

The Strangerer runs April 4 through May 11 at the Chopin Theatre.

Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

Tickets are $10 "more if you've got it, free if you're broke." For information or reservations, call 773.347.1041 or visit Tickets are purchased at the door with cash or check (no credit cards).

Photos by Kristin Basta

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