A Theatre and a Literary Magazine Cross-Pollinate

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While he was traveling in Barcelona, Goodman Theatre Artistic Director Robert Falls was struck by bold promotional posters for a book featuring pink crosses in the desert.

The images compelled Falls to read that novel, a 900-page work that stirred him in its scope and structure and how it seamlessly moved between comedy, film noir, hyper-realism and fairy tale across Spain, England, Mexico and Germany and from the 1990s to World War II.

The book, 2666, written by Latin American writer Roberto Bolano, inspired Falls to bring it to the stage and the world premiere opened last week at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre.

At five hours with three intermissions, it’s an ambitious play, but how else to express Bolano’s aspirations? It’s a five-part, multi-media mingling of reality and fiction based on a real-life crime wave. Fifteen actors portray 80 roles wearing 120 costumes and includes video, projections and original music.

A recent New York Times article says the play is about “evil, memory, chaos, futility, dread, hunger for meaning, and, not least, the sometimes maddening lure of literature itself.” Bolano, who died at age 50 in 2003, was posthumously awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award for the book in 2008.

So when the Goodman Theatre reached out to Thread to help showcase this production, Thread was delighted to become a partner. As the editor of a literary publication that explores the breadth of human experience via personal essay, how could I resist a play that addresses such a wide range of themes that grew out of a real-life event?

The Goodman may be an iconic theatre and Thread, a new literary publication and reading series, but we are Chicago-based art organizations who share audiences who love both the literary and the stage. And, we each released new work just last week!

You love the arts, right? Show your support by reading the latest issue of Thread and clicking on the Goodman artwork you see at the right of this blog post. You’ll find everything you need about getting tickets to the show. 2666 has a limited run from February 6 – March 20.

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If you are local to Chicago, or planning to be in the area in early April, circle April 3rd on your calendar for the next Thread Reading series to be held at a new location, The Curragh, in Skokie.  Go to the Readings page of the Thread site for updates.