The Wheel
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★★★½ "The impact of war on children, often repeated because we never learn from human conflicts, is the main topic of Zinnie Harris' dense, difficult, time-traversing and thoroughly fascinating new drama, "The Wheel," which director Tina Landau, never one to shy from either a formative challenge or the dramatization of human brutality, is wrestling into some kind of theatrical cohesion and obeisance on the Steppenwolf stage. Landau's gutsy production — starring Joan Allen in her first Chicago stage appearance in more than two decades and featuring some eye-popping, collagelike design work from Blythe R. D. Quinlan, a newcomer to Chicago theater — is the American premiere of a drama that first emerged in Scotland, which, thanks to the National Theatre of Scotland, is suddenly forging some of the most exciting and essential theater in the world." - Chris Jones