Listen to "Talk Theatre In Chicago" for an interview with Henry Godinez, who is a Resident Artistic Associate at Goodman Theatre. Godinez talks with Anne Nicholson Weber about Goodman's current production of Jose Rivera's Boleros for the Disenchanted, which he directed. Listen

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Boleros for the Disenchanted

Goodman Theatre
170 N. Dearborn Street Chicago

When Flora’s fiancé breaks her heart, she vows never to fall for an unfaithful man again. Then she meets Eusebio, who sweeps her off her feet and off to America—away from her family and her familiar life in Puerto Rico. Thirty-nine years later, an angel visits Eusebio with a mysterious message that stirs up old secrets and causes Flora to question the life she has tirelessly built in a foreign land. Boleros for the Disenchanted is a bittersweet and ultimately uplifting story about the everyday reality of marriage and the often undignified struggle to hold on to love in the face of life’s unexpected challenges.

Listen to "Talk Theatre In Chicago" for an interview with Henry Godinez, who is a Resident Artistic Associate at Goodman Theatre. Godinez talks with Anne Nicholson Weber about Goodman's current production of Jose Rivera's Boleros for the Disenchanted, which he directed. Listen

Thru - Jul 26, 2009



Price: $25-$70

Stage: Albert Theatre

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 312-443-3800

Running Time: 2hrs 30mins; one intermission

www.goodmantheatre.org


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  Boleros for the Disenchanted Reviews

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...Fans of Rivera will recognize the linguistic flourishes, the stylistic ease, the gaping heart. A writer’s most personal play isn’t always his best, and I wouldn’t say “Boleros” is wholly the equal of, say, the brilliantly inventive “Cloud Tectonics.” But it makes you want to meet Rivera’s mother, and take better care of your own."
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Chris Jones


Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...Love, marriage, machismo, immigration, generational shifts, thwarted dreams, sickness, aging and death. These are all crucial ingredients in "Boleros for the Disenchanted," the profound romantic comedy by Jose Rivera now in a gorgeously rendered production at the Goodman Theatre. Yet this simple list of themes cannot begin to suggest the depth of feeling and insight that give this play its undeniable emotional power and heat."
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Hedy Weiss


Daily Herald - Recommended

"...The marriage adages of "for richer or for poorer" and "in sickness and in health" get hammered home in José Rivera's 2008 drama "Boleros for the Disenchanted." This funny and sentimental play receives a solid Chicago premiere under Henry Godinez's strong direction at the Goodman Theatre, following previous productions in New Haven, Conn., Boston and San Francisco."
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Scott C. Morgan


Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Directed by Goodman artistic associate Henry Godinez—who also staged the world premiere last year at Yale Repertory Theatre—Rivera’s romantic comedy is a crowd-pleaser in the best sense, catering to the audience’s desire to be uplifted as well as entertained. Some of its mystical and religious aspects are questionable, and it sidesteps certain difficult questions, but few plays are as simultaneously illuminating, amusing, and touching."
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Albert Williams


NewCity Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...Boleros for the Disenchanted, at the Goodman, is an unremarkable new play by a remarkable playwright (Jose Rivera) whose success almost entirely depends upon an audience checking its intelligence at the door, and instead surrendering to its potent mix of sweetness, silliness and sorrow. It’s the kind of play that drives reviewers to churn out adjectives like “beautiful,” “lyrical,” “life affirming” and all that stuff that makes some people cry, but reduces intelligent critics to professional equivocators: it’s not as bad as a two-and-a-half-hour dramedy featuring Puerto Ricans waling about marriage and commitment sounds, but it’s also not as good as the artists involved would like to think it is."
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Fabrizio O. Almeida


Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...Under the direction of Henry Godinez, the resulting romance speaks, literally, to audiences of all ages—its promise not that of a “happily ever after” ( conspicuously lacking instructions on how to attain that elusive goal ) , but of a bonding loyalty that ultimately proves more precious than any giddy youthful fantasy."
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Centerstage - Highly Recommended

"...Some plays grab you with a great script, others with impressive acting or spiffy set pieces. "Boleros for the Disenchanted" has all three. Written by the venerable Jose Rivera and directed for the Goodman by Henry Godinez, this is the best show of the Goodman's 2008/2009 season."

Zach Freeman


Edge - Highly Recommended

"...this production is incredible. The set design, by Linda Buchanan, is beautiful but not overdone, perfect in the way in which it visually juxtaposes the first and second halves. The acting is, for the most part, sensational, creating characters that the audience can really feel, whose motivations can be understood and emotions shared. And of course, Rivera’s script is masterful, particularly with its personal touch owing back to his family’s Puerto Rican roots."
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Joseph Erbentraut


Chicago Stage Review - Highly Recommended

"...With as good an ensemble as can be found on any stage, director Henry Godinez crafts this production with as much skill and care as Rivera has crafted this lyrically lovely script. He has a command of the Latino experience, rooted in family, tradition and church, combined with the ability to translate this authenticity to universally accessible drama. No one is an outsider looking in, but rather we are all included on this life’s journey of the joys and pitfalls of love."
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Venus Zarris


Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...And at the same time, for all its flaws, this production manages to find the vibrant heart of Rivera’s sweetly unsentimental scenario. Early on, Flora’s own mother, Dona Milla (Marquez again), declares of her violent, profane husband, “I love him the way Jesus loved his cross.” The line could serve as the play’s own motto about the absurd and painful necessity of love. In its final scenes, Marquez and René Rivera, brilliantly exploring the vulnerabilities of the now legless, diabetic Eusebio, achieve a vision of this troubled, long-lasting marriage that overshadows the play’s less realized moments."
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John Beer


Chicago Theater Beat - Highly Recommended

"...This beautiful story had me laughing for 2 hours and crying at the end. It left a knot in my stomach and throat that only a story capturing the deepest truth of love can create. This play represents love in real relationships and the truth that lies behind the stories of our lives. In the end we see the strength that can surface when we choose to love."

Scotty Zacher


ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...Boleros for the Disenchanted is a lively presentation with a lot of rich humor that is distinctly Latino in flavor. Director Henry Godinez brings a rapid pace to the work and its two and a half hours go by as though they were only an instant. Linda Buchanan’s beautiful set transports the audience to the tropical “bohío” of Miraflores in a way that will make the islanders among you suffer when it converts into the sad little Alabama apartment of the second act. Perhaps the acting isn’t even across the board – especially I didn’t feel any chemistry between the young Flora and Eusebio – but it’s impossible that you won’t like this show."
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Randy Hardwick


Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...Directed by Henry Godinez in a style that is truly his own, he brings the realism of Rivera's story to the stage with all of the emotions one can feel. We laugh with them, we feel for them and we cry in both happiness and in sadness. The actors that Godinez has in these roles are marvelous performers and due to the time span, play several roles, each to perfection. Part of what this play represents is people being forced or having the need to leave their homes and families. For some, it has been war, for some rebellion. To leave their home is difficult but to search for a new beginning is a challenge with a potential far greater than what would be if they stayed is the force behind the emigration in this story."

Al 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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