Lookingglass Theatre has revived its 2001 portrait of iconic Chicago literary figure Nelson Algren, “For Keeps and a Single Day, ” bringing the work to the MCA stage in conjunction with the museum’s photography exhibit, “Art Shay: Chicago Accent.” Thomas J. Cox reprises his role as Algren in this intimate performance piece/poetic riff on Chicago, accompanied by Kevin O’Donnell on percussion and Bob Lovecchio on bass (performing David Pavovic’s original jazz score), and with a text crafted completely from Algren’s own writings. Director John Musial illuminates Algren’s delicious linguistic meanderings with a gritty film background, projected onto moveable hanging sheets that Algren drags across the stage as he navigates through an often-haunting Chicago cityscape. This is a genuinely engaging tribute to one of Chicago’s great writers, and a fitting introduction for anyone unfamiliar with and curious about Algren’s work. (Valerie Jean Johnson)
At Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 East Chicago, (312)280-2660. Thu-Sat 7:30pm/Sun 3pm & 7:30pm/Tue-Wed 7:30pm. $25-$55. Through June 29.