CHICAGO--The Waltz Invention is not about a dance. It refers to a weapon concocted by inventor and poet Salvator Waltz. Waltz in turn was invented, in 1938, by Vladimir Nabokov whose rarely seen play opens May 3 at Strawdog Theatre. Though rich with Nabokov's subtle allegorizing and imaginative touches, the dour drama carries an uncharacteristically political plot: The megalomaniacal Waltz will offer his country an unspecified but horrific weapon in return for being put in charge of everything.
The Minister of War and his absurd council of generals must decide if peace and prosperity are worth the possibility of being ruled by a mad dictator. (1938 was certainly a bumper year for them.) Nic Dimond directs a cast of thirteen. For information call 773-528-9889.
-- By Lawrence Bommer