The fact that their name is a present participle suggests much about the Building Stage, who are as much concerned with the process of art as with the product, perhaps more so. Director Blake Montgomery’s claim that the company’s new “Moby-Dick” is a response to and enhancement of their old “Moby-Dick” may be hard to understand if you’ve only seen this one, but the good news is that the product is solid.
Montgomery and his cast of devisers frame the classic Melville story about a sea captain obsessed with an elusive white whale as a team-taught university lecture. Six tweedy professors alternate narrating the story, until one by one they don Ahab’s leather coat. (The first time this happens is chilling; the actor using the narrator’s words to convey his identification with the character.) The adaptation focuses on Ahab’s core obsession, and as such much is lost in the way of other characters. But it’s a lively, often beautifully balletic work, and there’s some fun to be had in seeing the six performers fill up the chalkboard during the “teaching moments” and give their individual renditions of the Captain. (Neal Ryan Shaw)
The Building Stage at 412 North Carpenter, (312)491-1369. Through October 30.