Play Review: Legion

Last week I went to see the WildClaw Theatre’s new play Legion, and it was ridiculously awesome.  It doesn’t have zombies in it per se, but if you’re a horror fan in driving-distance of Chicago, you’d be crazy not to come check it out.

Legion is a sequel to The Exorcist, and is the story of an unusually theologically- and philosophically-attuned police detective named Kinderman who must solve a series of increasingly gruesome murders that may be (hint: are) related to something called “The Gemini Killer.” 

It is set in San Francisco in the 1980’s, and there are many awesome period-touches, from Walkmans to women’s hairstyles.  It’s very scary, and there are enough grizzly images that even a veteran horror fan ought to be sated.  It can also be very funny in places, and the laughs help break the pervading horror-tension that runs throughout.

The script is great, and the special effects are good, but the best part of Legion is the performances.  The actor who plays Kinderman is awesome as a grizzled, veteran detective, and most of the supporting characters are just as good.  As I watched the play, I found myself time and again thinking: “Man, just write a whole play about that guy.  He’s awesome.”  The actors are great both at playing someone who is terrifying and someone who is terrified.   

I have only one criticism of the play.  The main character’s hat is too nice.  Seriously.  I have no personal experience as a play’s costumer, but Kinderman’s hat looks like a $400 Optimo.  It is a pristine, perfect hat, and this contrasts sharply with the character’s rumpled persona.  (But this, of course, is an easy fix.  Take the hat outside, kick it around in the grime on Western Avenue for a while, smash down the brim, and presto, le chapeau juste!) 

In all seriousness, if you like horror, you owe it to yourself to check out this play.  It runs through April 18 at the Viaduct.  Here is a link to the details.

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