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  Blind Date at Goodman Theatre

Blind Date

Goodman Theatre
170 N. Dearborn Street Chicago

Not so long ago, but before presidential Twitter rants, Tinder meetups and 24/7 news, two of history's most enigmatic leaders -- Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev -- meet to negotiate a halt to the arms race. A crafty game of one-upmanship ensues; meanwhile, their wives engage in a passive-aggressive tango over tea. Playwright Rogelio Martinez, called "a fresh and funny talent" by Backstage, "finds new twists on old topics" (Variety) in this compulsively fascinating, slyly comic behind-the-scenes glimpse at a 20th century landmark event that shaped world history. See Blind Date when it comes to the Goodman Theatre's Albert stage in Chicago.

Thru - Feb 25, 2018

Price: $20-$75

Show Type: Comedy

Box Office: 312-443-3800

Running Time: 2hrs, 20mins; one intermission

Goodman Theatre Seating Charts

Suggested Nearby Restaurant

  Blind Date Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...In its best moments, and know that this show is well worth seeing, "Blind Date" draws from Reagan's past as an actor, making the case that his talent for empathy and obfuscation, his geniality and determination, his unwavering awareness of the power of subtext meant that the Soviets, finally, let down their guard."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"..."Blind Date," Rogelio Martinez's playfully titled and altogether amusing geopolitical romp - now receiving a high-spirited Goodman Theatre premiere - might very well be described as a "Ron-com." Ron as in Ronald Reagan, the actor, California governor and 40th President of the United States whose military and foreign policies some say helped bring the Cold War to an end (at least temporarily)."
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Hedy Weiss

Daily Herald - Recommended

"...Now receiving a large-scale Chicago premiere courtesy of Goodman Theatre, "Blind Date" functions as a historical comic drama depicting the events leading to and during the 1985 Geneva Summit between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union."
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Scott C. Morgan

Windy City Times - Recommended

"...However much we may chuckle at recognizing a quotation's provenance to be, say, Marty McFly, rather than Plato or Seneca, there is wisdom to be found in screenplays, too, as the final speech from The Day The Earth Stood Still amply illustrates when invoked at just the right juncture to remind us of the significant stakes in this microcosmic match."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Chicago On the Aisle - Recommended

"...All told, there’s as much circus as drama in “Blind Date,” and that’s what put me in mind of the two other plays I mentioned at the top: “A Walk in the Woods,” Lee Blessing’s two-hander about American and Russian negotiators striving toward disarmament, and “Copenhagen,” Michael Frayn’s three-character examination of the moral crisis of nuclear arms. A park bench in the first instance and a couple of chairs in the second suffice for sets. The substance, however, is formidable in both plays, and it resides in the writing."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...Engaging despite a challenging 150-minute span, this inaugural staging by artistic director Robert Falls showcases ten of Chicago's most alpha actors. Their superb storytelling skills deliver the fascinating and well-researched details in Martinez's episodic, sardonic and often gossipy slice of the past. A theme that runs through the many one-on-one scenes is the clash between any hopes for a securer future and the geopolitical biases, not to mention psychological divides, that perversely and unpredictably thwart progress."
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Lawrence Bommer

Splash Magazine - Recommended

"...In short, this is an entertaining, well-written, well-acted and mostly fond look back at an extremely significant historical meeting that, however, does not deliver any new or enlightening political or personal perspectives”."
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Debra Davy

Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Highly Recommended

"...I'm a political junkie! I love watching CNN, MSNBC and News One for the latest news; so getting a chance to see a play about how a historical event unfolded was something I was looking forward too. If you are someone like me, then The Goodman Theatre played called Blind Date is a play you must see. Blind Dates took us back to October of 1986 when, for the first time in history, two powerful men from the world's most powerful countries meet in Geneva; which was the first time in almost a decade. After much negotiation, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev came together to speak about the disarmament of nuclear weapons."
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Rick and Brenda McCain

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Smoothly directed by Robert Falls on a set designed by Riccardo Hernandez, this 2 1/2 hour play ( two acts, one intermission) moves quickly from scene to scene, with walls that move, floors that open, and overlaps in scenes that keep the pace of the show. There is a great deal of comedy in the script, in particular those pertaining to the President, being, after all, an actor. The scenes between the wives, Nancy Reagan ( the incredible Deanna Dunagan, who truly looks like the former first lady) and Raisa Gorbachev ( another great performance by Mary Beth Fisher). The scenes between the ladies are hysterical as they work to communicate with each other and offer asides to the audience that will have you laughing out loud ( I think the kids call this LOL)."
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago - Not Recommended

"...Director Robert Falls and his large, stalwart cast do their best to energize Martinez’s plodding script but they cannot overcome its relentless stiffness and triviality. An overlong introductory scene signals trouble ahead, as American Secretary of State George Shultz (Jim Ortlieb) and Soviet Foreign Affairs Minister Eduard Shevardnadze (Steve Pickering) mull over the question of forks vs. fingers when eating a shrimp cocktail and discuss why Schultz has a Princeton Tigers tattoo on his cabinet-level rump."
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Hugh Iglarsh

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...Rogelio Martinez’s new play that’s set during the Cold War years is a surprising treat. Audiences who lived through those years will enjoy this behind-the-scenes glimpse into the lives of these historical figures. Those who’ve only read about the Reagans and the Gorbachevs in their history books will have a chance at seeing an important historical moment come to life before their eyes. Under Robert Falls’ gentle direction, the honesty and comedy of this page in history is as entertaining as it is informative, and certainly worth a visit."
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Colin Douglas

Third Coast Review - Recommended

"...Falls' production is impressive mainly because of two factors. The large mostly male cast is composed of seven main actors plus three more playing multiple smaller roles, and an additional ensemble of 11 playing staff members, diplomatic corps, press and others. Their performances are embellished by the Goodman's gorgeous and inventive staging mechanics. The design by Riccardo Hernandez appears to be a large gray circular container center-stage. The walls slide open and spin closed, while the floor tracks move as needed for entrances and exits. The President's Resolute Desk is lowered from the Oval Office scene to below the stage. Within the container, the interior room sets are furnished simply but elegantly."
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Nancy Bishop

Chicago Theater and Arts - Highly Recommended

"...Directed by Robert Falls, 'Blind Date' moves seamlessly between the characters trying to set up the summit, the actions of the two world leaders, the concers and behavior of their wives and the press conferences thanks to the simple, effective set design by Riccardo Hernandez."
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Jodie Jacobs

Chicago On Stage - Highly Recommended

"...Some plays just seek to delight or captivate their audience, but others go beyond that. The Goodman Theatre’s newest play, Blind Date, is a history teacher’s best friend: it tells the true story of the historic 1985 Geneva summit between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev that proved the first step in opening relationships between the US and the USSR and, ultimately, led to the latter’s disintegration. But it is also a theatregoer’s best friend: Rogelio Martinez’s script never forgets that its central goal needs to be to entertain rather than instruct, and this is a wonderfully entertaining play."
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Karen Topham

Picture This Post - Highly Recommended

"...Written by Rogelio Martinez and directed by Robert Falls, Blind Date is a bit of nostalgia for some, a lesson in the historical realities of the cold war for others. Total entertainment for everyone."
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Steve Bellinger

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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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