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Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013

Catastrophic Good Fortune

Winning the lottery at Theatre Gigante

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The fantasy of winning the lottery is so universal that it's easy to overlook as a subject for serious drama. Any attempt at exploring sudden, catastrophic wealth runs the risk of cliché. Hungarian playwright György Spiró delicately avoids the obvious in his lottery drama Dust. In 80 minutes without intermission, Spiró delivers an exceptionally human dialogue on the subject of massive, instantaneous fortune. He works on a small canvas exploring some of the bigger issues of human desire in a very, very simple script.

Theatre Gigante brings the simple drama to life. John Kishline plays a husband who has been hiding his lottery ticket purchases from his wife for many years. Now he is faced with the unenviable task of telling her that he's been keeping his pursuit of wealth from her. Kishline mixes the elation of good fortune with the exhaustion of a lifetime of bad fortune. He's delivering the best possible news to his wife, but there's a darkness clinging to the periphery of his psyche that Kishline deftly hides around the edges of his performance.

Isabelle Kralj plays the wife forced to come to terms with quite a few revelations about herself, her past, her life and her family in light of the good news. She matches his elation with her suspicion. The character's transfer from suspicion, to happiness, to something else altogether might seem a bit forced were it not for the very pragmatic presence Kralj brings to the stage, which makes her character’s almost immediate suspicions of the situation seem very emotionally real.

Theatre Gigante's production of Dust runs through Feb.16 at Kenilworth Studio 508, 1925 E. Kenilworth Place. For ticket reservations, call 414-229-4308.
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