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Theater Shows
People’s Drum Circle Pandora, The

Don't pen that box.

centerstage reviewed this performanceReviewed by Centerstage!Go Chicago!

Quest Theatre Ensemble
1609 W. Gregory St.
Chicago, IL 60640 Map This Place!Map it
Tickets: or (312) 458-0895

Andrew Park

Quest Theater Ensemble


Related Info:
Official website

Runs August 13, 2010-September 19, 2010

Friday8 p.m.
Saturday8 p.m.
Sunday2 p.m.

Recommended a "Must See" Show

Let your inner flower child make some noise with Quest Ensemble. This take on the story of Pandora (and her box o' troubles) features a genius hippie-style drum circle, with the audience invited to bang away. Yes, a drum circle. You've been warned. Like everything produced by Quest, this show is as free as love.

reviewed performanceCenterstage Show Review
Reviewer: Sarah Terez Rosenblum
Sunday Aug 15, 2010

Intended as a corrective rewrite of the Pandora myth, "Drum Circle Pandora" questions 2,700 years of classical scholarship. Perhaps Pandora's feminine curiosity didn't unleash the evils of the word, but rather allowed her to see them clearly.

In service of this compelling yet poorly executed concept, the story begins with Plato's allegory of the cave; the idea that, trapped in comfortable ignorance, one may long for the notion of freedom, but shy away from its reality. From here, we move to Pandora (Angelica Keenan, engaging if unchallenged), consumed by curiosity about the contents of a box given to her by the gods. Eventually, she weakens and opens the box, which forces her to face problems such as poverty, greed and environmental damage.

Our guide through this maze of academic thoughts is Brother Sun (Jason Bowen, whose vocal skills are muddied by mic issues and wasted on subpar lyrics), a masked Hermes-like trickster with a harem of dancing girls. When Pandora, overwhelmed, turns to Brother Sun for answers, he reveals that the solution to societal misery is a bunch of people jammed into a 100-degree room, drumming.

Predicated by an entire 'first act' spent supplying the audience with percussive objects and teaching them to drum, this leap, although not unexpected, arrives rapidly and with little justification. Box open, Pandora joins the drummers in vanquishing evil as represented by, for example, two cigarette-puffing showgirls who stomp on a sign reading 'environment.' Surrounded by drummers, they have a change of heart, picking up the sign and dusting it before dancing offstage.

Essentially a second rate "Pippin" meets, well, a drum circle, "Pandora," a little too sexy for kids, a little too loud for potentially hung-over adults, has its heart in the right place, but isn't sure where it fits in.

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