The clever, funny, satiric and erotic “Venus in Fur” by playwright David Ives argues historic battles on gender domination and pleasure at Goodman Theatre now through April 13, 2014.
A 2011 hit on Broadway, the play brings to Chicago, Ives’ interpretation of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s (think Masochism) 1869 novella on pain, pleasure and power.
As the actress auditioning for Vanda, Amanda Drinkall personifies the Venus in Fur of the book as she turns the tables on Thomas, the playwright who has adapted Sacher-Masoch’s book and is directing his own show.
Rufus Collins is a very believable Thomas who reads the part opposite Vanda because his reader has left. Thomas becomes so ensnared in the role the question arises of separating the playwright’s desires from that of his character.
Director Joanie Schultz moves the electric friction between the play’s two protagonists at lightning speed.
A play within a play, first impressions are deceiving. Within the show’s short, 90 minutes (no intermission), Vanda and Thomas seem to switch the roles of playwright, director, actor and even gender, back and forth.
Details: “Venus in Fur” is in the Albert Theatre at the Goodman, 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago IL 60601. For tickets and more information visit Goodman Theatre or call 312-443-3800.