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Touch of Kafka New Phoenix looks at the complexities of the legal system

The New Phoenix Theatre seems to have a taste for murder.

It opened its season with a pocket musical about the famed duo Leopold and Loeb, set in 1920s Chicago. Now, the New Phoenix will train its twisted telescope on the future when it produces "The Pillowman," a dystopian play that follows the travails of two men accused of a string of child murders.

Described in New Phoenix literature as "Kafkaesque," the show explores the idea of a legal system gone wild with power and those who are caught up in its labyrinthine and surrealistic bureaucracy. Though it's set many years in the future, the plotline is supposed to sound familiar.

With sets by David Butler, lighting by Kurt Schneiderman, music by Paul Kozlowski and direction from New Phoenix artistic director Robert Waterhouse, this production will bear the inimitable stamp that the unique theater company has consistently applied to its always edgy and sometimes fiendishly twisted productions.

e-mail: cdabkowski@buffnews.com

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PREVIEW

WHAT: "The Pillowman"

WHEN: Opens at 8 tonight and runs through Dec. 8

WHERE: New Phoenix Theatre, 95 N. Johnson Park

TICKETS: $20 general, $15 students and seniors

INFO: 853-1334 or www.newphoenixtheatre.org

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