A folk opera about the Depression, advertising its influences as T.S. Eliot, Dante, Santos, William Kennedy and songs from the time period, “Boneyard Prayer” feels more like a Nick Cave ballad: beautiful, but sometimes a bit bogged down in its own weight. The Redmoon production is extremely stylized, with excellent use of multimedia, puppets and silent film tropes. Actors are engaging and do their best to channel the genre and time. “Boneyard Prayer” feels heavily influenced by early Chaplin movies as well, with hoboes that are reminiscent of his tramp character, providing moments of comic relief from mild physical humor. The story of redemption is universal, the visual images of the production are striking and songs are occasionally very moving. However, the play sometimes doesn’t stray far enough from cliché, from its song lyrics to the constant presence of whiskey bottles, and for a play produced at a time when America is facing a recession, it doesn’t seem relevant to present concerns and anxieties in a way that could have made it far more engaging. (Monica Westin)
At Redmoon Central, 1463 W. Hubbard, (312)850-8440 ex. 111. This production is now closed.