Things have gone a little crazy inside the New-Futurarium. Writer/director Bilal Dardai’s “Contraption” has taken over and it will not quit until everyone in room is a little uncertain of their own state of mind. Part infotainment, part Brechtian pontification on the grip insanity has had on many of histories great inventors, “Contraption” delivers one vaudevillian sight gag after another but manages to be more than a good laugh. Despite the total deconstruction of the play before your very eyes, it still keeps a gripping and educational through line. Dardai’s writing, however, is stronger than his direction. He manages to construct striking stage pictures that are undoubtedly from a Neo-Futurist, but some less obvious choices with the text would have served the material well. The cast is a tight ensemble of four. Dina Connelly stands out, though. Equally at home playing an animatron as a sexy psychiatrist, her energy is exuberant and perfect for the wonderfully quirky production. (William Scott)
At the Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland, (773)275-5255. This production is now closed.