Just in time for the season of ghosts and ghouls, (re)discover theatre brings us the world premiere of Les Innocents/The Innocents, an immersive queer thriller set in the Paris Catacombs. Created and directed by Co-Artistic Director Ann Kreitman, Les Innocents/The Innocents will play through November 4th at The Preston Bradley Center, 941 W. Lawrence Ave, in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood. Regular run performances are Thursdays through Sundays at 8 p.m. Tickets are on sale now online.
Inspired by a real concert that took place in the Paris Catacombs in 1897, the audience members of Les Innocents/The Innocents will prowl the catacombs like ghosts. Gui, a composer on a quest for love, emerges from the maze to encounter eccentric and musical ghosts who misdirect their pursuit and inspire chaos for the living and dead. Les Innocents/The Innocents presents realistic and grossly human queer characters in mythic circumstances to investigate our relationship to duty, death and defeat.
Did you die loved or lonely?.. The question emerges almost immediately. Six million skeletons, each with their own story. Built from former limestone quarries, the catacombs span over 200 miles of tunnels seven stories below Paris. Paris cemeteries were emptied into the catacombs in the late 1700's. The first cemetery emptied was Cimetière des Innocents. Within the catacombs, there is a miniature palace chiseled from stone, carved over five years from memory by one of the quarry workers. He died in a quarry collapse as he was building an access point to share his creation. On April 3rd, 1897, there was a concert in the Catacombs, featuring music by Chopin and Saint-Saens.
In the intriguing production of Les Innocents we meet a vibrant cast of characters. Some dead, some alive, each with a story to tell. Drawn by the light of one flickering candle they come forth, never failing to entertain. Few are bitter, few are hopeful... Trapped by the maze of the catacombs, they sing, dance and regale the audience with their tales of demise. Did they die loved or lonely? It is a hard question to answer. One character's desperate search for the spirit of their loved one takes us on the journey into the underworld. Nothing is what it seems. The plot twist and turns, just like the catacombs, revealing just enough to keep you moving forward in the story. Plenty is left to the imagination. But enough about us... Go see for yourselves. Seek your own adventure. Be brave and enter the underworld. Les Innocents are waiting for you.
Les Innocents is playing at Preston Bradley Center in the Uptown neighborhood on the North Side of Chicago.
The Local Tourist's tickets for two to Les Innocents courtesy of Shout Marketing and Media Relations.
Photos courtesy of (re)discover theatre.