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  Play Details

Disgraced

American Theatre Company
1909 W Byron Chicago

New York. Today. A Muslim-American lawyer is rapidly moving up the corporate ladder while he distances himself from his cultural roots. At the moment of achieving his life-long ambitions, he falls victim to professional and personal betrayals that manifest in one of the most explosive and controversial scenes ever written for the theater. American Theater Company teams up with the Broadway producers of Urinetown and last season’s A View From the Bridge to premiere Ayad Akhtar's examination of a modern Muslim-American struggling to define his identity.

Thru - Mar 11, 2012



Price: $35-$40

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-409-4125

Running Time: 1hr, 20mins; no intermission

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  Disgraced Reviews

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...Not only is the ensuing train wreck quite riveting, thanks in no small part to Ally, but Akhtar smartly makes space for a moment when you come to see how perfectly ordinary mistakes can simmer in this American stew, where so much already festers. It's in that sad moment that "Disgraced" is at its best."
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Chris Jones


Chicago Sun Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...Clearly, the writer’s obsessive themes are custom-built for this moment. But the play still feels like an outline, and too often its characters function as overly neat mouthpieces that, heard in their inevitablecacophony, suggest just how twisted all forms of fundamentalism AND political correctness can become."
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Hedy Weiss


NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"... Ayad Akhtar’s new play, in its world-premiere production under the able direction of Kimberly Senior, is an important new work that gives voice to an underrepresented constituency, the Islamic American, but does so without sugarcoating the issues or the players. Amir, played with brilliant intensity by Usman Ally, is simultaneously a sympathetic and hateful character, even beyond his choice of career. He’s bright, and wants nothing more than to be a name partner at his firm, but he can’t shake his heritage. Fueled by alcohol, he begins to speak thoughts better left unsaid, and his world begins to unravel."
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Brian Hieggelke


Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...If the play’s final scene puts its thumb on the scales, at least Kimberly Senior’s breathlessly intelligent production taps enormous wells of honesty. Ally, working through an astonishingly complex web of motivations and emotions, leads a uniformly terrific cast."
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Kris Vire


Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...Director Kimberly Senior builds the production with a sure sense of pace and gathering tension through its unbroken sweep of 75 minutes. Set designer Jack Magaw’s stylish apartment reinforces the illusion of permanence. It is a proper house of cards."
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Lawrence B. Johnson


Chicago Theater Beat - Recommended

"... This show is full of personality. The cast provides ongoing thought-provoking viewpoints on religion, race, gender. Stereotypes are explored and weirdly justified. In the lead, Usman Ally (Amir) plays raging paranoid perfectly. He balances heavy doses of humor with anger issues. His flawed character garners empathy for his weaknesses, as well as, his strength. An understated Alana Arenas (Jory) makes hilarious side cracks. Arenas is sooooooo natural. She’s really eating cheese and just hanging out. Her responses seem completely organic in the moment. And then when pushed, she shoves… hard! The entire ensemble provides a sublime look and feel to Akhtar’s multi-dimensional story."

Katy Walsh


ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...Usman Ally’s strong nuanced and highly-charged emotional performance as Amir anchors this wonderful scary work. Disgraced speaks to the unspoken tensions when fear of a group or religion manifests itself in professional and personal relations. We empathize with Amir as he reacts to the actions of those around him. I’ll not say more so not to spoil the plot that will enrage and shock you. Both the writing and the acting blend together to present a story that needs to be seen. Disgraced is a cautionary tale and an indictment of our latent fears of misunderstood cultures. The play forces us to re-examine our views of Muslim Americans. Theatre allows us to come together to explore such exlposive topics. This is an impressive drama, don’t miss it."
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Tom Wiliams


Chicago Stage Standard - Recommended

"... As its title implies, “Disgraced” is an equal-opportunity accusation in action, a crash course in betrayal that’s fascinating to watch but would be dreadful to experience. Given shock effects that hit too close for comfort, seldom has the fourth wall been more welcome—or more invisible."

Lawrence Bommer


Around The Town Chicago - Recommended

"...Skillfully directed by Kimberly Senior on a set that I found astonishing for one of our smaller theater companies ( Jack Magaw does terrific work) , lighting (Christine Binder),sound (Kevin O’Donnell) and costumes by Janice Pytel) and props by Nick Heggestad, I found this story to be a little incomplete and had hoped for a better ending, one where the resolution is clearer. While well acted , I would have hoped that we would know if they could get back together, could Amir really change his ways? Does Abe/Hussein give in to the FBI , or get deported and return to Pakistan? While I can recommend the show based on the powerful acting and direction and the overall picture it paints, I felt the need for more- to complete the picture!"
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Alan Bresloff


   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the opening night judges of The Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee. The entire production is then eligible for nomination for awards at the end of the season.
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