Artistic director Christopher M. McCray says that in his two-act dance drama, Ghost Play, he wanted all the performers to correspond to chess pieces. Later that premise developed into a story with Shakespearean overtones about a kingdom in turmoil. But this trippy piece might be most reminiscent of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: its tagline is “death is passe,” and the byzantine plot defies logic. The tale is set in a futuristic society–which opens the door to all kinds of crazy costumes, as in Chicago Dance Crash’s Tribulation and the Demolition Squad last summer–whose wealth and insularity might reflect our own culture. Filled with bishops, knights, and pawns, the cast is led by Christopher Courtney as the Rook, a bastion of sanity, and Lyndsey Rhoads as the evil Queen. McCray himself personifies one of the story’s key elements: a drug called Paris Dahmer. Loaded with imaginative and physical energy, Ghost Play should explode off the thrust stage where it’s being performed. But it also has its tender side, as when Courtney performs a quiet, mournful hip-hop-influenced solo to classical cello music. Through 7/30: Fri-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM, Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, 773-327-5252, $15 in advance, $18 at the door.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Misty Winter.