Theater: After Innocence, What?

From time to time, the members of the cast line up, face the audience and flash shy, charming smiles. They march a lot too, keeping time by smacking sticks and shaking tambourines. They love to pretend they are being birds and animals. If necessary, they will speak. But they prefer to sing, dance or grunt as they mime their mysterious little charades−a kind of show-and-mostly-don't-tell.

Precocious moppets at a kindergarten assembly? Wrong. Joseph Chaikin's off-off-Broadway Open Theater. But that first impression may not be entirely mistaken. For the Open Theater plays a brilliant game of neo-innocence. It peels down actors to their...

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