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  BLISS (Or Emily Post Is Dead!) at Athenaeum Theatre

BLISS (Or Emily Post Is Dead!)

Athenaeum Theatre
2936 N. Southport Chicago

In BLISS (OR EMILY POST IS DEAD!), it's 1960 in North Orange, NJ. Clementine (Clytemnestra) and Maddie (Medea) are now housewives with a pill addiction, and Antonia (Antigone) is the teenage girl next door who is in love with a black boy. On the surface, they're seemingly blissful to follow the "rules" of Emily Post, the American author famous for writing on etiquette. But that's just the surface. Then Cassandra, a working girl, moves into their neighborhood and all routines are interrupted. Cassandra is determined to finally break the curse of Apollo, the gorgeous and egotistical god who gave her this "gift" of prophecy but made it so no one would ever believe her. He makes it clear his curse is practically indestructible: yet all she must do is convince someone to believe her. Can Cassandra convince them they now have a choice in this modern era? That they don't have to live a doomed existence? Can all four women escape their ongoing fate?

Presented by Promethean Theatre

Thru - Aug 25, 2018

Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 7:30pm
Saturdays: 7:30pm
Sundays: 2:00pm

Price: $17-$27

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 773-935-6875

Athenaeum Theatre Seating Chart

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  BLISS (Or Emily Post Is Dead!) Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Director Anna Bahow keeps her strong cast charging forward for more than two hours, finding impressive nuance along the way. If this had been entirely Clementine's play, it might have paid off."
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Justin Hayford

Windy City Times - Recommended

"...Despite Brandli's minor setbacks, she's broken through the "simpler time" nostalgia and created a candy-colored world with dark undertones that's still painfully relevant. Carrie Campana's costume design is both accurate and vibrant, with pastel housedresses to die for. Both Bragg and Robinson shine as young women on the verge, ultimately doomed but willing to sacrifice for love. Equal parts Real Housewives, Mad Men and myth, BLISS perfectly sums up today's dejected Hillary supporters, recovering assault survivors and persecuted women of color in one angry climactic line: "I am not your girl anymore!""
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Lauren Emily Whalen

Stage and Cinema - Somewhat Recommended

"...The whole thing reminds me of the act on The Ed Sullivan Show where an artist tried to keep a row of plates on poles spinning together simultaneously. Here, alas, more than one falls and breaks, a porcelain tragedy."
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Lawrence Bommer

Splash Magazine - Recommended

"...Written by Jami Brandii, directed by Anna Bahow, the play is performed by a small, tight cast dealing with everyday issues between the sexes that have gargantuan meaning in their lives. The venue is the fictional city of N. Orange, New Jersey. The work has ancient mythic/tragic underpinnings, and yet keen timely social relevance. A simple set composed of 3 home settings/a doctorís office and outdoor park area in the early 1960ís becomes a joint crucible for a concentration of ancient curses, a feminist fight against patriarchal takeover of heaven and earth, and racial prejudice."
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Debra Davy

NewCity Chicago - Not Recommended

"...This dramaturgical muddle doesn't help a play already burdened with too much complaining and commiserating and not enough action and conflict. All of the characters feel cursed, but what dooms the play itself is not fate or hubris but rather its own preachiness, aversion to irony and general tone-deafness."
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Hugh Iglarsh

Third Coast Review - Recommended

"...Bahow directs her excellent cast in crisp performances. The pastel-toned set designed by Jeremiah Barr incorporates Antonia's bedroom, Clementine's kitchen and Maddy's living room. Sadie Tremblay's sound design blesses us with a soundtrack from the '60s."
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Nancy Bishop

Chicago On Stage - Highly Recommended

"...Yes, it seems mighty weighty material to be handled in a light manner, but Brandli's clever script deftly paints the three tragic figures with enough comic playfulness that we are invited to laugh as they go through the reiterated motions of their own damnation: a wonderful narrative trick that works because of excellent writing and even better performances from a stellar cast under the strong direction of Anna Bahow."
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Karen Topham

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