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  A Loss of Roses at Raven Theatre

A Loss of Roses

Raven Theatre
6157 N. Clark St Chicago

In Inge's drama, which opened on Broadway in 1959 starring a 22-year-old Warren Beatty, a widow and her 21-year-old son are getting by in a small Depression-era Kansas town when their old friend, a down-on-her-luck but attractive actress, moves in with the two. They learn that survival comes at a price and that moving on requires letting go. The Wall Street Journal said this nearly-lost classic by the author of Bus Stop and Picnic is "a fine play that should never have slipped from sight."

Thru - Apr 2, 2016

Price: $34-$42

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-338-2177

Running Time: 2hrs, 20mins; one intermission

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  A Loss of Roses Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...Estle's cast also finds lighter-hearted moments in the material, as when Lila's "peculiar" show-folk family drops her on Helen's doorstep. But "A Loss of Roses" works best as a clear-eyed portrait of how the simple desire for someone to be good to us can blindside us, even when we know better than to trust them. Hard times make for hard hearts. Estle, who seems poised to pick up the local baton as a masterful director of mid-American realism David Cromer left behind when he went to New York, understands that. And in absorbing production, he lets us see the cracks in the hearts as they fill with the dust of dreams deferred."
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Kerry Reid

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...You'd think three adults cooped up with their various longings would generate some heat, but in director Cody Estle's arid staging nobody ever strikes the match. It's partly the fault of a half-formed script oscillating between Freudian mommy issues and the downward arc of Lila, a wounded people-pleaser with a reckless streak. Eliza Stoughton turns in a touching performance in that role, conveying both vulnerability and pragmatism."
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Zac Thompson

Stage and Cinema - Highly Recommended

"...It's striking how Raven's 140 minutes make us care about these questions, even more for their answers. As detailed as Jeffrey D. Kmiec's cut-away cottage or Alexia Rutherford's costumes, Estle's marvelous staging puts a golden cast of seven on a very inevitable course. However many twists turn this tale, each seems exactly right the moment it happens. It's all gain with A Loss of Roses."
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Lawrence Bommer

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...Come experience one of the finest American playwrights worthy plays that, somehow, gets second billing but is not second rate. A Loss of Roses is a rarely produced gem that needs to be seen to be fully appreciated."
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Tom Williams

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...The technical aspects of the production are flawless. The set is divine and looks as it would during the time and location. Greg Hofmann’s lighting is ideal and the props (Mary O’Dowd are sheer perfection."
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...One of the noblest services a theater can render is to capably revive an unjustly dismissed work. Raven Theatre has helped right an old wrong with this poignant production of William Inge’s Depression-set family drama, which bombed on Broadway in 1959 and has been mostly in limbo since. Director Cody Estle and his youthful cast capitalize on Inge’s strengths as storyteller and observer, drawing us into the playwright’s remorselessly unsentimental vision of lower-middle-class life in an ironically named heartland."
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Hugh Iglarsh

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...This is one of those forgotten treasures that, like an exquisite period gown, had been stored away in an attic trunk. But at Raven Theatre, it’s been brought out into the light to be admired for its craftsmanship and worn again for its beauty. Against Inge’s four more popular and critically acknowledged plays this drama may pale a bit in comparison. Yet under Cody Estle’s sensitive and carefully nuanced direction, it becomes a little gem that almost feels brand new. This lovely, melancholy drama will charm audiences with its three lonely characters, all searching, as we all are, for a little love and understanding."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Recommended

"...Director Cody Estle guides the characters with an unerring hand. The acting by Abigail Boucher (Helen), Sam Hubbard (Kenny) and Eliza Stoughton (Lila) may be on the artless side but they bring their characters credibly to life and everything that happens to them comes across as credible and ultimately inevitable. That's about all the actors can do."

Dan Zeff

The Fourth Walsh - Highly Recommended

"...A LOSS OF ROSES was the complete perfect package for me; writing, directing, acting. The stories pull you through these lives existing in depressing times. And one of the very last stories told by Stoughton about the loss of roses is unforgettable poignant. I highly recommend seeing this rarely produced play."
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Katy Walsh

Chicago Theater Beat - Highly Recommended

"...A Loss of Roses is old-fashioned in nature, but rich in text and interpretation. Raven Theatre's production, while a bit long, displays subtle strength and intellect at every turn. It's no quick fix, but rather, a rewarding slow burn."

Lauren Whalen

Third Coast Review - Recommended

"...William Inge’s A Loss of Roses at Raven Theatre explores the lives of three people in a small Kansas town in Depression-era 1933. The play, directed by Cody Estle, provides an up-close look at the lives of people making it through difficult times. Raven’s production is beautifully staged and well-acted but Inge’s script is not a dramatic masterpiece. It’s a quiet story that takes an honest look at real people."
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Nancy Bishop

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   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 Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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