Lookingglass Theater’s “The North China Lover” – Erotic Story Sans Sizzle

Having never read Marguerite Duras’ novel “The North China Lover” nor seen the movie adaptation, I came to this production cold.  Though it is an erotic story with its share of full frontal nudity, I remained cold.


Know that there is nudity and don’t take your children.


It’s a story of a teen girl from a dysfunctional family (The Mother played by Amy Carlisle, an aggressive older brother played by Walter Owen Briggs, and a younger brother played by JJ Phillips) with whom she has shared an incestuous relationship) . 



They are poor and living in Indochina. 



The teen takes up with an older and wealthy man of Chinese background. 



It’s told through the reminiscences of a middle-aged woman (Deanna Dunagan) who refers to her younger self as “the child”. 



The stellar cast (Wow—Deanna Dunagan of August Osage County!) delivers fine acting but the script constrains. 



One asks oneself throughout—“What teen talks or thinks like that?”  



The method of telling a story through the reminiscences of one character might be appealing to many who seek alternatives to the usual method of story narration in dramas.  If storytelling arts are of great interest to you the way this method of plot presentation will likely intrigue.



Lookingglass has many ardent fans and this play is sure to be loved by many.



Lookingglass Theater

Water Tower Water Works

821 N. Michigan at Pearson


Runs until November 10


Tuesday October 22 and November 5 – 7:30

Wednesdays – 7:30

Thursdays – October 17, 31 and November 7 – 3 PM; 7:30 all Thursdays

Fridays- 7:30

Saturdays – 3:00 and 7:30 PM

Sundays – 3:00 and 7:30 PM


For tickets visit the Lookingglass Theater website (www.lookingglasstheatre.org) or call 312 337 0665.


Photos:  Liz Lauren

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