Power Play

Sometimes, notes Julie Rada of the Lida Project, “just telling the plot doesn’t sell the show.” Such is the case with Lida’s newest production, Mouse in a Jar, a work by young playwright Martyna Majok. On the surface, it’s the horrible story of a vaguely Eastern European illegal immigrant with few rights or opportunities in life who is visited each night at the same time by a beast who rapes and beats her. In a naturalistic interpretation, that’s not much fun, but if you’re at all familiar with the Lida aesthetic, you already know that Mouse, which was previously produced in Chicago, won’t be played that way.

Although it sounds depressing, Rada says, “it’s actually darkly funny; it has a lot of sharp and dark humor to it.” Working off of that, the collaborative Lida ensemble takes a more stylized, abstracted, tech-heavy approach (Rada calls it “subterranean punk”), playing off the work’s Foucaultian undercurrents to show how people choose their own paths. Viewed in a pole-obstructed setting, this version of Mouse is anything but literal.

Mouse in a Jar premieres tonight at 8 p.m. at BINDERY | space, 2180 Stout Street, and continues through May 29; admission is $17, or $5 for Thursday-night performances beginning in mid-May. Visit www.lida.org or call 720-221-3821.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Thu., May 13, 8 p.m.; Thu., May 20, 8 p.m.; Thu., May 27, 8 p.m. Starts: April 23. Continues through May 29, 2010

 
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