CHICAGO -- Last chance to catch the theatrical adaptation of a 1981 story that introduced the word "cyberspace" to the world. Ending Mar. 7 is the Next Theatre Company world premiere of Williams Gibson's Burning Chrome.
Gibson, a latter-day Orwell, anticipated the Internet and virtual reality. His futuristic thriller, set in a giant megalopolis stretching from Atlanta to Boston, foretells the human cost of our ever-advancing technology.
Gibson, interviewed by Clive Barker in the theatre company's newsletter, "Next Up," said of cyberspace, "The ways this technology is affecting us now are very, very subtle... Because of the Internet and the World Wide Web...the world's attic is being sorted, with a speed and precision that would have been impossible 10 or 15 years ago. The whole concept of rarities and random finds is disappearing. Soon, every book in every used book shop on the planet will be accessible to a search engine. And there's something -- there's really something horribly sad about that."
The show, which opened Feb. 9, is the latest in a successful series of sci-fi collaborations between Next artistic director Steve Pickering (a respected Chicago actor) and London director Charley Sherman. The team is also responsible for dramatizations of Clive Barker's In the Flesh (1992) and Son of Celluloid (1995).
For tickets ($18-$22) and information on Burning Chrome call (847) 475-1875. Next up at Next will be Cardenio, a collaboration (some historians believe) between William Shakespeare and John Fletcher. Previewing Apr. 3, Cardenio runs Apr. 6-May 2.