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  Be Here Now at Theater Wit

Be Here Now

Theater Wit
1229 W Belmont Ave Chicago

Bari, an atheist and misanthrope, loses her job teaching nihilism in NYC and ends up working in a fulfillment center in her small hometown. Her empathetic co-workers push her toward yoga, meditation, and a blind date in the pursuit of happiness. But recently, her recurring headaches have gotten more intense, manifesting as ecstatic and almost religious experiences - and they are changing her entire outlook. She's almost... happy! When she finds out that these rapturous headaches may be killing her, Bari needs to choose: does she live a shortened, joyful life - or does she risk a return to her past life of misery. Be Here Now takes audiences on a hilarious and poignant quest for meaning in modern life.

Thru - Oct 19, 2019

Price: $15-$42

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 773-975-8150

Running Time: 1hr, 30mins

  Be Here Now Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...If the central storyline of this play could be stripped away, there are actually some really beautiful performances. Wiens' brooding, quirky portrayal of Mike (whose tragic backstory gives good reason to why he is in no position to be around the potential of death) offers the one moment of catharsis that feels earned. If it doesn't at least bring half a tear to your eye, I don't know what to tell you. Deanna Reed-Foster and Demetra Dee, Bari's friends and co-workers Patty and Luanne, are the perfect comedic relief in a play that actually winds up being pretty funny."
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Jerald Pierce

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Laufer's play, directed with a sure hand by Sandy Shinner for Shattered Globe, tries too hard to land its rather obvious points about making the best of life, no matter what. (Mike has achieved notoriety for his gift at literally building houses out of trash, for example.) The cast, especially Wiens, commit to the sometimes twee material with intelligence and empathy, even though the characters end up feeling more like archetypes than fully fleshed-out people. It's enjoyable, but not memorable or deep."
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Kerry Reid

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...It would have been easy—not to mention cowardly—to have buried this existential dilemma under a veneer of darkly comic shtick, but Shattered Globe director Sandy Shinner trusts in the ability of her audiences ( some of whom may, themselves, have grappled with the questions under discussion ) to maintain an open-minded approach to the options explored by Rebecca Jordan as the ambivalent Bari, along with Joseph Wiens, Demetra Dee and Deanna-Reed Foster as her tireless counselors. Don't discount the foundation for Laufer's cosmology, either—namely, a diorama of reawakening as exquisitely entrancing as a Joseph Cornell box, assembled by the technical team of Angela Weber Miller, Vivian Knouse, Shelley Strasser and Stephen Gawrit."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Splash Magazine - Highly Recommended

"...This is a production that not only dives deep into what why and how a person achieves happiness, but manages to do it with heart and humor. It kept my attention the whole time. "
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Eucarol Juarez

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Transformative and infinitely entertaining, “Be Here Now” is a witty comedy, romance, and tragedy rolled into One. It is Deborah Zoe Laufer’s brilliantly perceptive take on the meaning of life and happiness in today’s world."
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Julia W. Rath

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Sharp of wit and warm of heart, Shattered Globe’s “Be Here Now” is a poignant and pertinent exploration of the “pursuit of happiness,” that keystone of American identity. Part satire, part romance, part melodrama, playwright Deborah Zoe Laufer’s ninety-minute work skillfully mixes comedy and philosophy, asking some heavy-duty questions with a light, sure touch."
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Hugh Iglarsh

WTTW - Highly Recommended

"...Rebecca Jordan gives a riveting performance as a woman whose anger is a cover for deep unhappiness, loneliness and fear. And Wiens is superb as her counterpart – a smart, damaged, lonely, quirkily visionary man who has found a way to literally “rebuild” his life. In addition, Foster, a veteran Chicago actress, and Dee, a young talent with comic chops and charm, light up the stage with their high spirits."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...Shattered Globe launches its new season with a play by Deborah Zoe Laufer that’s charming, thoughtful and life-affirming. It probes each of our journeys toward the pursuit of happiness. It’s a play that, seasoned with laughs and lots of “aha” moments, isn’t afraid to ask questions that urge the audience to think about what’s really important. Do we come into this world born with a certain point of view about life, or does that develop and evolve, based upon our environment and who we know? As the poet William Ernest Henley proclaimed in his poem Invictus, are we truly “the masters of our fate and the captains of our soul,” or do we need those around us to help us to Be Here Now?"
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Colin Douglas - Highly Recommended

"...'Be Here Now' says a lot about the emphasis America puts on the idea of happiness. Laufer asks whether happiness is a choice and what difference does it make it we have it or not? Shattered Globe premieres this work to Chicago in a beautiful production designed by Angela Webber Miller. Sandy Shinner continues her tradition of directing new works that slyly make you question your very existence while also tickling your funny bone."
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John Accrocco

Third Coast Review - Not Recommended

"...There’s a thoughtful core to Deborah Zoe Laufer’s Be Here Now, the story of a bitter, cynical woman afflicted with headaches and seizures that leave her seeing the world as one full of colors, connection and hope. Enjoying its Chicago premiere thanks to Shattered Globe Theatre, Sandy Shinner directs this one-act examination of the limits we put on ourselves and the fleeting nature of life as we know it. Unfortunately, with a flawed performance at the center of things, the potentially intriguing narrative fails to spark the introspection it seeks."
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Lisa Trifone

Chicago On Stage - Highly Recommended

"...We never know what life is going to do to us or how much of it we will get, and Laufer wants us to find a way to make the most of whatever it might be. At the start of the play, the disembodied voice of a yoga instructor tells us to “be here now,” to be present for every moment of our own lives. All four characters in this play come to know the importance of this, whether through tragedy, practicality, religion, or the unpredictable whims of the cosmos. We cannot control what happens to us, but by being thoroughly and emotionally present for it, we can learn how to handle it."
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Karen Topham

PicksInSix - Highly Recommended

"...The life-threatening situations that we encounter, or witness in others, are ultimately lessons in survival. By challenging Bari to choose one of two narrow paths, each with a high degree of risk, Laufer’s work helps to broaden our understanding of the importance of personal fulfillment over everything else. In the end, Jordan and Wiens–both exceptionally fine actors–create a fascinating relationship between their characters, rounding the corners of perception to achieve something together that neither could accomplish on their own."
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Ed Tracy

Picture This Post - Recommended

"...This is a fun script, with Laufer tweaking us to consider the modern ironies of a calling a distribution warehouse a fulfillment center, or how one man’s junk is another man’s found object. You too though, like this writer, might think this script could quickly fall flat if it weren’t for the standout actors in the cast and the expert touch of Director Sandy Shinner. These are quirky characters spun more out of metaphor than real-world, who come off as homespun as your next door neighbors. The word that comes to mind to describe their performances is natural."
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Amy Munice

TheatreWorld Internet Magazine - Highly Recommended

"...Shattered Globe Theatre, in its long history, has never shied away from a challenging dramatic work. They produce Tennessee Williams, David Mamet, among many, many other classic and new authors. Everything has substance, vitality and complexity. They keep the audience working on the plot and send them home with plenty of food for thought. The latest show, Be Here Now, onstage at Theater Wit, by Deborah Zoe Laufer, directed by Artistic Director Sandy Shinner, is as mind-boggling as a Mamet, as complex as a houseful of Tennessee Williams spinsters vying for the only man in town and as humorous and outrageous as a TV sitcom. "
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Ruth Smerling

  Be Here Now Photo Gallery

   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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