UPDATE: On June 8th, 2016 Chicago Reader published an exposé on abuse at Profiles Theatre. The theatre has since closed due to the deserved negative reactions among the Chicago theatre community. The space has recently reopened as a home for Pride Film & Plays. The allegations of decades of abuse taints Darrell Cox's performance in Jerusalem, as well as the artistic choices of Joe Jahraus. Please read the article as a companion piece to this review, it is important.
Profiles Theatre’s currently running production of Jerusalem has all the sex, drugs, and trailer-raves one can hope for. Directed by Joe Jahraus, the play revolves around Rooster, a charming degenerate who spends his days in a drug and alcohol induced haze and his nights partying and misbehaving with the town’s adolescent population. Rooster spins tall tales about his origin and adventures and is a reluctantly accepted local legend. This doesn’t stop him from being in legal trouble regarding his hovel of debauchery.
The striking elements of the production were the superb scenic design (Thad Hallstein), framing the trash and the trailer with an ornate St. George’s illustration; the fairy-rave style outfits and general disarray of clothing (costume design: AmarA*jk); and, the blood-pumping, glow-stick thrusting, outrageous vignettes of party culture (lighting design: Mike Rathbun, sound design: Brandon Reed).
The ensemble, led by Darrell W. Cox’s disgustingly magnificent Rooster, tackles small town England with a stunning ease. Each character is a small part of the town (a pivotal character itself) and each actor adds a healthy amount of curiosity and intrigue to the village of Flintock.
All of these elements are brought together beautifully by director Joe Jahraus. The play is long but never tedious as the pacing switches between capturing the thrill of a never-ending night of partying and the numbness of the glorified hangover.
Jerusalem runs until April 24th at Profiles Theatre. Recommended.