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  Play Details

Laika Dog In Space

Neo-Futurists
5153 N. Ashland Avenue Chicago

East meets Midwest when the NY Neos bring their 2009 Ontological Incubator hit to the Chicago stage. Part science lesson, part Russian folklore and part introspective interpretation, Laika Dog In Space uses original music, dance and puppetry to help tell the story of Laika, the first mammal in space, and to discuss the impact of her life. Arrive early to take advantage of a living installation takes the audience through various stations where they listen, confess, create and experiment. And of course, the step back in time to the mid-80's Soviet space program wouldn't be complete without a helping of borscht!

Thru - Mar 12, 2011



Price: $10-$15

Show Type: Performance Art

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  Laika Dog In Space Reviews

Chicago Tribune - Not Recommended

"...for all the faux naïf energy and poetic ideas circulating around "Laika Dog in Space" (developed and initially produced in New York, and directed here by Phil Ridarelli), the show feels awfully twee and lacking substance."
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Nina Metz


Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...All the source materials have something to do with isolation, courage, faith, entrapment, science, and science fiction. For 75 minutes, the performers toy with these themes without developing any of them. Although Phil Ridarelli's antic direction keeps things moving at a brisk pace, the piece lacks intellectual rigor."
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Justin Hayford


Chicago Stage Review - Recommended

"...There is much to recommend here, even though Laika Dog in Space does occasionally miss the mark. Laika suffers somewhat by not really knowing what it wants to be. Sometimes it flows, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes Laika feels like a performance art quilt that the audience is asked to wrap itself in and contribute to; sometimes Laika is a collection viewed from behind glass. Still, writers/performers Rob Neill, Eevin Hartsough, and Jill Beckman and Composer/Performer Carl Riehl have created a show that is conversational and thought-provoking. Under the careful, and non-threatening, direction of Phil Ridarelli, Laika Dog in Space ultimately succeeds — a jumble, but a pleasure."
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J. Scott Hill


Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"... A meaningful meditation on connection can be discerned in the merry jumble. Forays into audience-participation games seem more superfluous than unifying, but ultimately the questions about interrelationship that are raised by the idea of a mutt navigating the cosmos are allowed to resonate—especially when the borscht is served to the audience after the show."
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Megan Powell


Chicago Theater Beat - Somewhat Recommended

"...The production tries to create a sense of community within the room, whether it is through making borsch that the audience can all eat after the show or by pulling audience members on stage to drink Tang upside down, but these elements fail to enlighten the deeper message of the play. Despite being well-performed, the script needs a stronger focus and the technical aspects need to be cleaned up if Laika: Dog In Space hopes to truly take off."

Oliver Sava



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