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  Year of the Rooster at The Frontier

Year of the Rooster

The Frontier
1106 W Thorndale Chicago

"Year of the Rooster" is a fiercely comic play about finding connections, cockfighting, and clawing your way to the top. Gil is a timid fast food worker with dreams of glory and a star rooster with something to prove. Love and respect can't be bought and that goes double if you're poor. In a world where money talks loudest, is violence the answer when nothing else will fly?

Presented by Red Theater Chicago

Thru - Feb 6, 2016

Show Type: Comedy

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  Year of the Rooster Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...But what sets the story apart is that we see much of it unfold from the frenzied, deeply confused, deeply inflamed perspective of the gamecock, whose inner-monologue point of view comes courtesy of Jeff Kurysz, channeling Ryan Gosling at his Gosling-est in a punk-ninja costume (from designer Kate Setzer Kamphausen) that says more about the bird's state of mind than anything with feathers would. It's a performance that holds your attention and generates just enough sympathy for a creature that lives its life in a perpetual deranged fury except for one brief night when he is paired with an equally confused chicken who he is meant to impregnate (played by a terrific Emma Ladji, who doubles as Gil's splenetic co-worker-turned-boss at McDonald's). A horror show in slow motion, the stakes may be thin but also beside the point."
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Nina Metz

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...In Red Theater's visceral production, director Carrie Lee Patterson and a fully committed cast capture the comic ferocity of the script as well as the desperate violence of the fights (choreographed by Will Bennett). As Gil, Gage Wallace manages to seem sweet and dangerous at the same time."
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Zac Thompson

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...The play's publicity bills it as a comedy, but Carrie Lee Patterson's direction of Red Theater's five-member cast permits no trace of hee-haw caricature to safely distance us from the squalor of Dufault's barren landscape or the everyday suffering of those obliged to dwell therein. Urban audiences casually dismissing violence as a necessary component of our mythic roots would do well to consider the evidence in our own society of individuals ready to claw their way to the top after being called "chicken" for too long."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...First to be produced by Red Theatre Chicago by itself under the new structure is the Chicago premiere of Year of the Rooster, a 2013 off-Broadway tragicomedy by Eric Dufault. The play has already been well-received in several other cities due to its examination of the bizarre affection participants in cockfighting feel for the birds they raise and send into battle. But what makes Year of the Rooster theatrical in the sense appropriate for a storefront space is that the rooster, Odysseus Rex (Jeff Kurysz), has a voice of his own."
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Jacob Davis

NewCity Chicago - Recommended

"...Despite having some internal struggles, this is a blue-ribbon-level production from a theater that has recently forgone typical admission structure. In doing so, Red Theater inaugurated their own battle for survival. If “Year of the Rooster” is in any indication, they’ve definitely got a fighting chance."
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Kevin Greene

Chicago Theater Beat - Not Recommended

"...Year of the Rooster seems to want to be a dark comedy, exposing the underbelly of small-town secrets. There are two main issues with Eric Dufault's intensely terrible script. First, dark comedy is incredibly hard to write and Dufault completely fails. The jokes, many of which center on animal abuse and violence, don't land at all."

Lauren Whalen

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