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  A Disappearing Number Reviews
A Disappearing Number
A Disappearing Number

A Disappearing Number
TimeLine Theatre Company
Thru - Apr 9, 2017

Show Information


TimeLine Theatre Company

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Recommended

"...Bowling and his creative crew manage a great deal - Rajan burrows deep inside his complex clerk and Jethmalani feels wise and caring throughout. Anu Bhatt also is very fine in a small but crucial role. Overall, it's a smart and deftly articulated show, as you would expect from this respected, audience-centered theater and it took real guts to dive into a piece so difficult to separate from the artists who were part of its creation."
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Chris Jones



Chicago Sun Times- Highly Recommended

"...Now imagine this: A brilliant theatrical venture that not only illuminates each and every one of these notions in the most rigorous yet accessible way, but does so by unspooling a superbly multi-layered, deeply human story laced with immense emotional depth, great bursts of humor, a magical infusion of musical and choreographic accents, and such compelling performances that you have no doubt the actors could pass the most challenging exams even without the aid of their scripts."
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Hedy Weiss



Chicago Reader- Somewhat Recommended

"...The two stories share parallel themes (love, loss, one partner's struggle to comprehend the other) and are meant to cohere in Ruth's fascination with Ramanujan. But, while director Nick Bowling and company exercise their usual rigor, smarts, and verve in staging this complex revival, the coherence never comes. The two tales just orbit each other into infinity."
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Tony Adler



Chicago On the Aisle- Highly Recommended

"...There is quite the recent tradition of successful Chicago productions that delve into the virtuosic mind, among them Peter Shaffer's "Amadeus" at Chicago Shakespeare, David Auburn's "Proof" at Court, Tom Stoppard's "Arcadia" at Writers, and Simon Stephens' "The Curious incident of the Dog in the Nighttime" presented on tour by Broadway in Chicago. "A Disappearing Number" is worthy of inclusion for the elegance with which it conveys the miracle of Ramanujan's breakthroughs, the essential gist and the critical why, without the failing of incomprehensible detail. William Boles designed a spare set infused with light and number - the floor was a carpet of equations. Visual projections (Rasean Davonte Johnson) suggested the shifting dissolves of time and place."
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Nancy Malitz



Stage and Cinema- Recommended

"...A Disappearing Number may not set you on fire to forge your own deathless equations. There is no great dramatic playoff at drama’s end. Much here seems more movement than message. But it goes one better: It conveys the wonder of having dug an immutable truth from not so random numbers. Few souls get to snatch infinity from transience."
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Lawrence Bommer



ChicagoCritic- Recommended

"...This tightly directed (Nick Bowling) play uses live music, choreographed movement and powerful media to tell its story. We see how math can connect the world between the largest to the smallest elements. Along the way, the acting is superb particularly by Kareem Bandealy, Juliet Hart, Anish Jethmalani and Dennis William Grimes."
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Tom Williams



Around The Town Chicago- Recommended

"...Tonight I was witness to a production at Timeline Theatre which wowed me in many ways, and yet, I can only rate it at 3 stars. This is of course, recommended, but under normal circumstances, their shows are higher in stars. Perhaps it is the content of the story, being based on math, or the fact that the duration of the telling of this wonderful, yet complicated, story is almost two hours with NO intermission, but, I am afraid, recommended is where my comfort zone is. This story, written by Complicit'e, is celebrating its Chicago premiere finely directed (almost choreographed) by Nick Bowling ( based on the original work of Simon McBurney)."
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Alan Bresloff



NewCity Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...“A Disappearing Number” will change the way you look at the world, most likely for the better. It is history, time, love and math all wrapped into a compelling yet enigmatic whole. It does not provide answers so much as provokes questions that you never knew you wanted the answers to. It encourages curiosity. It offers a glimpse at the immense potential of theater and humankind."
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Kevin Greene



Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended

"...Siddhartha Rajan, a recent Roosevelt University graduate, is charming and earnest as the young Indian mathematics wizard, Ramanujan. His portrayal is earnest, heartfelt and true against Dennis William Grimes' theory-driven portrayal of British professor G.H. Hardy. Together, these two actors, along with Anish Jethmalani, as Aninda, the audience's guide for the evening, demonstrate to audiences that mathematics is exciting and filled with so much beauty within its intricate poetry and patterns."
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Colin Douglas



Third Coast Review- Highly Recommended

"...Bowling’s production of A Disappearing Number is cleverly staged and he directs an excellent cast, with choreography directed by William Carlos Angulo. Original music by Ronnie Malley, Bob Garrett and Mikhail Fiksel is performed by Garrett and Malley at alternating performances. Sound design is by Fiksel. William Boles created the scenic design (highlighted by eight chairs that become classrooms, taxis, trains and airplanes) with projections by Rasean Davonte Johnson."
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Nancy Bishop



Picture This Post- Recommended

"...A DISAPPEARING NUMBER is a complex fabric of ideas. But not all of its numerous storylines create - as the play's mathematicians would have it - a pattern that connects everything. Al and Ruth are deeply and resonantly drawn. The East-West friendship between Ramanujan and Hardy, however, doesn't fully satisfy. Neither does the globetrotting physicist Aninda (Anish Jethmalani) who keeps crossing paths with Al in his pursuit of string theory."
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Susan Lieberman