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  Beowulf at The Den Theatre


The Den Theatre
1329-1333 N. Milwaukee Chicago

Written and directed by Red Theater Artistic Director Aaron Sawyer, Beowulf tells the story of Beowulf and Grendel's Mother doomed by Odin to relive their deaths over and over again for all eternity in front of an audience. Sometimes set to music. Each performance a reset of their lives together. Each time a new body, a new place, a new set of watchers. Through song, prose and poetry, they cry out their pain and their love to each other, to us and to an uncaring god.

Presented by Red Theater

Thru - Mar 11, 2017

Mondays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 7:30pm
Saturdays: 7:30pm
Sundays: 7:30pm

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-697-3830

  Beowulf Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Aaron Sawyer wrote and directed this two-person musical adaptation of the old English epic poem, presented here by Red Theater Chicago, but he can't decide whether he wants to retell the ripping yarn, deconstruct it, or just poke fun at it for its ancient sexism and silly notions of heroism. The result is a noisy, messy, endlessly unfocused production, overstuffed with songs (by Pavi Proczko and Brindin Sawyer, with additional material from Brenda Scott Wlazlo) and unsuccessful in pulling the audience into the story or providing a coherent analysis. Proczko and Wlazlo are occasionally entertaining as, respectively,"
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Jack Helbig

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...Most of the show’s songs are performed on guitar (Scott Wlazlo) and accordion (Proczko), and they have a jaunty, off-kilter mood to them that works well. While the lyrics are sometimes clunky, the show’s confessional, neo-cabaret aesthetic is one of its greatest strengths. It’s at these moments that the show’s theatricality is most connected to its humanity. Beowulf is never better than when it’s just two old enemies, sitting on a stage and telling you their story—about a monster who became a human, and a human who became a monster. "
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Alex Huntsberger

NewCity Chicago - Recommended

"...Proczko and Wlazlo are champions. From the very moment Grendel's Mother appears, Wlazlo is magnetic. She acts as a grounding point for the audience, both by virtue of her belief in the world she and Proczko so fully inhabit as well as the clarity with which she navigates her character's emotional reality. Proczko is no less impressive. Beowulf's mythical idealism is heroic and deplorable; his certainty in the cause is well-intentioned but doesn't stand in our era of grey shades. The two flow seamlessly in their performance and their tragedy is wholly understood through powerful and well-thought performances."
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Jay Van Ort

Third Coast Review - Somewhat Recommended

"...The cleverness and whimsy of the show is encapsulated well in Proczko’s accordion playing. Proczko wrote most of the music along with Brindin Sawyer, who wrote Grendel’s Mother’s solo songs. Grendel’s Mother’s songs form the most compelling part of the show, centering on her role as a mother, the loss of her son, and the horrible and painful love triangle she’s a part of now as she’s haunted by the memory of her son and her love for his killer."
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Emma Terhaar

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