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Strange Heart Beating muddies the waters

Cloudgate Theatre’s production is too precious and preposterous.

Atmosphere is everything in Cloudgate Theatre artistic director Kristin Idaszak’s new Strange Heart Beating, in which a nameless midwestern town by a nameless lake becomes the disturbed burial ground for a variety of human ills—racism, alcoholism, factory farming, mob vigilantism, climate change, and the mysterious disappearance of many girls. In this heavy-handed production, the Lake (Stephanie Shum, in a fantastic ball gown of nets and weeds) is the first to speak of what she has witnessed—a girl, hands sticky with ice cream, egg-white substance between her legs, deposited in her waters.…

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