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  Arcadia at Writers Theatre


Writers Theatre
325 Tudor Court Glencoe

In the heart of a 19th century English country estate awash in secret desires, illicit affairs and professional rivalries, a brilliant young student proposes an earthshaking scientific theory. Two hundred years later at that same estate, academic adversaries Hannah and Bernard race to unravel the enticing mysteries left behind in a heated battle for intellectual and sexual dominance. Part detective story and part comedy of manners, Tom Stoppard's elegant, time-jumping masterpiece forges a complex comedy of wit, romance, poetry, sex and scientific theory, introducing characters whose lives and passions intersect across the centuries.

Thru - May 1, 2016

Tuesdays: 7:30pm
Wednesdays: 7:30pm
Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 7:30pm
Saturdays: 3:00pm & 7:30pm
Sundays: 2:00pm & 6:00pm

Price: $50-$80

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 847-242-6000

Running Time: 3hrs

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  Arcadia Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...Halberstam has cast the play a little older than is typical, but that does not prove overly problematic, and Stoppard requires experience, frankly. There's a lot of life in Parkinson's scenes, in particular, and nobody shrinks from the broader comedic moments. The most striking performance among a very distinguished ensemble is forged by Anderson, who is playing a hypersmart character who always knows more than he tells and feels more than he reveals. It's the best thing I've seen this actor do, and it is the performance that anchors this production, which is not always the case with this play."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...As for director Michael Halberstam's choice of Tom Stoppard's play, "Arcadia," as the company's opening salvo, it could not have been more ideal for many reasons. Not only is it a dazzling showcase for some of Writers' most beloved performers from seasons past, but in its mix of complex ideas, sparkling wit and verbal acrobatics it is emblematic of what this company has always done best. Even more to the point, the many themes in Stoppard's bristlingly brainy work seem custom-made for this particular moment in Writers' history."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...But it's also a romance, both comic and tragic-with the added complication that certain relationships are inseparable from Stoppard's larger subject. Halberstam and his cast of 12 have a strong, clear command of the scholarly and fleshly issues in Arcadia, yet they fail to make sense of its central connections: between Hannah and Bernard, and Septimus and Thomasina. Scott Parkinson pushes Bernard's excesses so far that it's hard to believe that Kate Fry's Hannah-equally extreme in her reserve-would find him engaging, even as a phenomenon."
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Tony Adler

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...The Writers Theatre cast, in an even-keeled staging by artistic director Michael Halberstam that's expertly tuned to the dimensions of the new mainstage, hits every mark. Stoppard's script is so layered with academic details that it could come across as abstruse in the wrong hands. But Halberstam's crackerjack collection of actors lands every reference as if debates about poetry versus physics, in the 19th century or now, are as natural and vital as current politics. Up-and-coming cast members like Stenholt, Christopher Sheard and Callie Johnson prove just as compelling as stalwarts Parkinson, Fry and Anderson, making this the ideal production of what might be Stoppard's best play."
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Kris Vire

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...If a play, off the shelf as it were, could be tailor-made for the unveiling of a distinctive new theater, Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia,” an intellectual romp with a touch of tragedy, is the perfect inaugural raiment for Writers’ splendid new home in Glencoe."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Splash Magazine - Somewhat Recommended

"...With a three hour running time and material that at times feels denser than Einstein's Theory of Relativity, this play is not for everyone. Director Michael Halberstam does a good job of exploring the work's big ideas, but the production would benefit from a more careful examinations of the central characters. While the cast as a whole appears solid and Parkinson (Nightingale), Stenholt (Thomasina), and Anderson (Septimus) dazzle, too much of the play presents as a long winded lecture on the true nature of time, nature, and science."
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Noel Schecter

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...One of the most significant accomplishments of this production is how in tune it is with Stoppard’s sense of humor. Some of the characters are drawn much more realistically than others, but they all fit within the unique world of the play. Through mouthpieces like Hodge and Valentine, Stoppard even does a decent job of explaining what the mathematical concepts being discussed are and why they are important. Well, important to some people, at least. The most passionate speeches in the play are debates between the characters over the importance of truth and myths."
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Jacob Davis

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Tonight was a very special one in the theater community. The first production on the stage in the brand new Writers Theatre in Glencoe. This new venue is remarkable in many ways. The lobby space is far greater than the old building, allowing the guests to partake of a beverage prior to the show. Parking is a bit tighter, however, they have made arrangements with the Metra lot which is just across Green Bay Road. There are still some minor adjustments to make regarding heat and cooling as many of the women in tonight's audience were chilled to the bone. This is something that the Writers staff will have under control very soon."
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Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theater Beat - Highly Recommended

"...Arcadia is a triumph on multiple levels: It’s a celebration of the sumptuous new space and a crackling fine swath of storytelling. Set in 1809-10 and the early 1990s, Arcadia drives home both the fleeting nature of human life and the ephemeral nature of art. The drama explains why the universe is ultimately unexplainable. It also offers a magnificent testament to legacies that endure, long after their creators are swirling dust."

Catey Sullivan

Third Coast Review - Highly Recommended

"...One of the theatrical delights of Arcadia is Stoppard's stage direction that the denizens of both eras should exist in the same space (a room adjacent to the garden), with the same furniture and props. No need for crew members to move furniture or add or remove props. This conceit means that Thomasina may sit in front of Valentine's laptop while discussing chaos theory with Septimus. Characters in both eras may move or even feed Plautus (or Lightning), the ancient tortoise, who mostly serves as a paperweight."
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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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