'Camino Real' ★★★½

Tennessee Williams' "Camino Real" is a wildly free-form, 1953 poetic pageant set in a crummy tropical outpost with shades of New Orleans or Tangier. At the Goodman Theatre, it's fodder for Spanish director Calixto Bieito, known for shocking productions in Europe but here creating his first made-in-the-USA work. Bieito and his gutsy actors unleash a feverish landscape of sadomasochistic sex and aging voluptuaries behaving very badly, explicitly linking "Camino Real" to the alcoholism of its author. The central actor Michael Medeiros vomits booze, speaks with Williams' signature cadence and conjures shadows of desperate figures real and fictional. Bieito will do his best American work when he knows America better, but this is a crystal-clear meditation on Williams, watching as his demons of excess consume his fragile beauties. -- Chris Jones<br><br><b>Through April 8 at the Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St.; $25-$79 at 312-443-3800 and goodmantheatre.org</b>

( April 13, 2012 )

Tennessee Williams' "Camino Real" is a wildly free-form, 1953 poetic pageant set in a crummy tropical outpost with shades of New Orleans or Tangier. At the Goodman Theatre, it's fodder for Spanish director Calixto Bieito, known for shocking productions in Europe but here creating his first made-in-the-USA work. Bieito and his gutsy actors unleash a feverish landscape of sadomasochistic sex and aging voluptuaries behaving very badly, explicitly linking "Camino Real" to the alcoholism of its author. The central actor Michael Medeiros vomits booze, speaks with Williams' signature cadence and conjures shadows of desperate figures real and fictional. Bieito will do his best American work when he knows America better, but this is a crystal-clear meditation on Williams, watching as his demons of excess consume his fragile beauties. -- Chris Jones

Through April 8 at the Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St.; $25-$79 at 312-443-3800 and goodmantheatre.org

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