Corpus Delicti: The body, a jelly, made visible


Last year we heard about the anatomical play "Corpus Delicti: Just Desserts" after it had ended, and couldn't believe we'd missed it. I mean, how often does the opportunity come around to see a performance examining the history of anatomy and involving a.) an illuminated cadaver made from ballistic gelatin and vegetables, b.) live accordion music, and c.) audience participation? So this year, when a small flyer appeared announcing another run of this Local Infinities production, I reserved tickets immediately. I'm glad I did. Staged in the operating theater of UIC's neuropsychiatric institute, Corpus Delicti investigates anatomy's complex, controversial past with witty accuracy and startling beauty. In addition to the famed gelatinous body, the group transforms the surgical theater into a rich and interactive stage set, using a covered operating table and white clothing of the actors as moving sub-screens that animate and activate imagery from art history. The two actors work adeptly with language and with the architectural constraints of the theater, using the steep seats and the audience itself as a part of their intense investigation into public dissection while using fruits and vegetables as playful metaphors for human organs. At the end of the show, the public is invited to come down to examine the expertly-crafted gelatin body for themselves, using scalpels to explore lettuce lungs and exquisite arteries made from rainbow kale. This show was well worth the price of admission, and I recommend reserving your seat ahead of time. The show continues Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday (Halloween) nights at 8PM. For more information on Corpus Delicti (and Local Infinities' other work) visit http://www.localinfinities.com/cd/cd.html -Christa Donner

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