Entering the lobby of TimeLine Theater is entering the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade, Serbia. If your knowledge of the father of alternating current (AC) and the turbulent history of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is nil, you aren’t alone. Jeffrey Stanley’s tight drama, “Tesla’s Letters,” is here to turn the lights on… pun only slightly intended. Director Nick Bowling has taken great care in shaping this story as much about American complacency as it is a lesson on Tesla’s biography. The small cast exercises tight control over their characters with rich specificity and a real sense of inhabitation. Janet Ulrich Brooks stands out as Biljana, the matriarch of a family mauled by war. Collette Pollard’s scenic design is infused with subtle detail and Mike Tutaj’s name is one more for the list of innovated projection designers throwing images all over Chicago stages. TimeLine’s exploration of contemporary topics through historical context is well served by “Tesla’s Letters.” Do not miss this show. (William Scott)
Att TimeLine Theatre, 615 West Wellington, (773)281-8463. This production is now closed.