'The Iron Stag King' ★★★

The program of the House Theatre of Chicago's expansive and arresting new production comes with a hand-drawn map, not so different, really, from the maps by J.R.R. Tolkien. Authors Nathan Allen and Chris Mathews are openly borrowing from Tolkien given that their show, the first in an intended trilogy, is formed around a journey and a quest of a group of companions, of constantly shifting loyalties, through a mythic landscape of indeterminate time, place and humanity. Those whose eyes glaze over at fantasy fiction might want "The Iron Stag King" to butt out, but this theater always has been about young audiences and fantastical sagas. - Chris Jones Through Oct. 21 in the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St.; $25 at 773-769-3832 or
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