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The Caucasian Chalk Circle Reviewed

Trying to describe Brecht is like trying to follow your Great Uncle Milton as he waxes philosophical over a glass of Hendrick's - undoubtedly important but you're never quite sure where he's going to end up. Nonetheless, here's a brief plot synopsis (you're welcome): A servant girl saves a baby abandoned in war-time. At the end of a journey including soldiers, treacherous mountain passes, and marriage to a dying man, their fate is left in the hands of a cantankerous judge and his chalk circle. Also, there's singing and the occasional violin.

Brecht is in good hands with Tony Award-winning director and designer John Doyle (of Broadway's Sweeney Todd) who creates a dramatic post-war world with constantly shifting sets and costumes. The score (from acclaimed San Francisco composer Nathaniel Stookey) is played by the cast on objects scavenged from the city dump, along with more traditional instruments and vocals. The Caucasian Chalk Circle is an imaginative inspection of humanity during times of trial - who becomes strong, who succumbs to weakness, who stays funny, who stays greedy, and who loves despite crushing odds.