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  Gentle Reviews
Gentle
Gentle

Gentle
TUTA Theatre Chicago at The Den Theatre
Thru - Mar 26, 2017

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TUTA Theatre Chicago at The Den Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader- Somewhat Recommended

n adaptation of the Dostoevsky short story variously translated as "A Gentle Creature," "The Gentle Woman," and "The Meek One," Gentle, the latest from TUTA Theatre (the acronym stands for "The Utopian Theatre Asylum"), is an examination of hurt male pride. It concerns a washed-up pawnbroker (Tom Dacey Carr) who, sensing himself a victim in life's grand scheme, marries a desperate girl with few other options (Dani Tucker). Adapter-director Zeljko Djukic's version is emotionally canny, with an especially effective performance by Tucker, who can say more with a trembling eyebrow than the depraved pawnbroker ever manages to convey in incessant monologues."
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Max Maller



Theatre By Numbers- Recommended

"...The actors are uniformly excellent. Carr never begs the audience's sympathy, barely earning it when he attempts a fragile act of love at the story's end. Throughout, he is stubborn and exacting and clings to a belief that he is unlovable. Tucker must complete a harder task. She must remain a mystery while still seeming more in touch with her emotions and empathy than her husband. She becomes a literal whirling dervish at one point in the script, and I absolutely could not blame her desperate need to be seen and accepted as she is. Demerath is delightful as the housekeeper, using a shuffling walk and wry smile to suggest that she is more in touch with humanity than the others."
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Sarah Bowden



ChicagoCritic- Highly Recommended

"...A more sophisticated and honest adaptation of a great work of literature to the stage is, I think, rarely to be found. Those familiar with Dostoevsky and his work will relish TUTA's production of Gentle a great delight that may in fact elucidate some of Dostoevsky's more tortuously hidden themes. Those unfamiliar with either Dostoevsky or TUTA ought take advantage of this rare sighting. The production demands a great deal of attention, but the payoff-a sober, emotional grounding and enough food for thought to fast from theater for a year-is well worth the challenge."
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August Lysy



NewCity Chicago- Recommended

"...Fortunately, Tucker and Demerath are effective storytellers, forming strong images in Djukic’s world (already a stable architecture) such that we’re able to maintain a grasp on the larger picture of “Gentle”: love in a capitalist society; the nature of wounds; how jealousy and want for an idea can erode a person. And at it’s core: what are the lies we tell ourselves to protect our hearts?"
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Jay Van Ort