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  Buried Child at Writers Theatre

Buried Child

Writers Theatre
325 Tudor Court Glencoe

On a cross-country trip from New York to the west coast, Vince and his girlfriend Shelly decide to make a stop at his grandparents’ rural Illinois home. But when they arrive, neither his grandparents, Dodge and Halie, nor his father Tilden and uncle Bradley seem to recognize or remember him. As Vince searches for answers, truths begin to emerge that reveal a deep corrosion of this fragmented family living in a forgotten America.

Thru - Jun 17, 2018

Price: $35-$80

Stage: Alexandra C. and John D. Nicho

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 847-242-6000

Running Time: 2hrs, 50mins

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  Buried Child Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...Like Harold Pinter in "The Homecoming," Shepard introduces a stranger to this weird family: in this case, it's the girlfriend of Vince (the restless Shane Kenyon), Dodge's grandson and Tilden's son. Vince, who long ago escaped to the city, has brought Shelly to the homestead. Arti Ishak is perfectly cast: she's like life walking into death, only to find out that there also is purgatory, a place where people get stuck and it gets harder and harder to leave."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...The production is stronger the more concentrated the conflict. In the first act, where Yando, Cochran and Montgomery lay the foundation of the world and inhabit characters with deep inner lives, the play crackles. Montgomery, looking a bit like Shepard himself, is actually the most compelling of all as Tilden, the wanderer who got lonely, then in trouble, then returned home, where he may just have a son buried in the backyard, and that may just be why he spends so much time back there, trawling mud along with vegetables into the house. When his younger brother Bradley (a menacing and excellent Timothy Edward Kane) arrives at the end of the act and fulfills Dodge's fear that he'll shear his hair, it's pretty unforgettable - weird and creepy and crazy evocative."
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Steven Oxman

Daily Herald - Highly Recommended

"...Senior and company make it impossible to look away, almost as if they've grabbed your upper arm and forced you to confront the corruption. The experience drained some audience members and left others with their mouths agape."
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Barbara Vitello

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...But in foregrounding the play's tragic elements, Senior sacrifices much of its ghastly humor, gothic iconoclasm, and hallucinogenic lyricism, the things Shepard employs to depsychologize O'Neill (he said he was out to "destroy the idea of the American family drama"). It's a compelling evening, but so weighty it can't reach the heights of Shepard's strangeness."
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Justin Hayford

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...Shepard’s darkly funny brilliance is not so much about the decline of an American way of life as it is about us humans losing sight of ourselves in a blur of treachery, self-denial and retribution that threatens to extend through the generations backward and forward. As directed by Kimberly Senior in a superb production, Sam Shepard’s realm is a bleak pasture of the heart, where truths too painful to confess refuse to stay buried no matter how much mind-numbing alcohol or sexual abandon or vagabondage are applied."
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Nancy Malitz

Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Recommended

"...Director Kimberly Senior revives this Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece into the twenty-first century. It will have you drawn to the deep storyline of complexity and the conscious of how this family has gotten left behind within the changing times in America. There is a dark secret that is finally revealed, and the world learns more about how this distressing illness can permanently affect a family; more deadly than a child should ever know or experience."
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Rick and Brenda McCain

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Over the years, viewing plays about dysfunctional families has become almost expected, but tonight, at Writers Theatre, we got to witness the most dysfunctional family EVER!!!. This all takes place in Sam Shepard’s amazing “Buried Child”, a Pulitzer Prize winning masterpiece, as reinvigorated by Director Kimberly Senior. What an incredible job she has done on this chilling story about a family that may have been left behind by progress."
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Alan Bresloff

WTTW - Recommended

"...At the center of the calamitous state of affairs is Dodge, a ravaged patriarch in late middle age who depends on pills and alcohol but still possesses a wickedly sarcastic sense of humor. And to be sure, the principal reason to see this production is to watch actor Larry Yando – an actor of electrically charged dramatic and comic instincts – give just the latest of his many brilliant performances in this role. Keep your eye on his mouth alone; whether in a coma-like sleep or a leering glance he makes it speak."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...Supported by Jack Magaw’s detailed, yet almost expressionistic, haunted farmhouse, perfectly lit with gray and gloom by Heather Gilbert, and coated with a realistic sound design by Mikhail Fiksel, this production will be talked about for years to come. Mieka van der Ploeg’s realistic costumes help us add a layer of additional understanding to each character. But it’s Kimberly Senior’s way with Sam Shepard’s frightening nightmare of a script that will make this drama haunt theatergoers’ dreams for a long time to come."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Recommended

"..."Buried Child" clearly isn't for all tastes. Viewers who appreciate a tight script with no loose ends will find the play bogged down in pseudo symbolism, off the wall characters, and motivationless actions. But viewers who think they have Shepard's dramatic and theatrical goals figured out will find the revival full of adult pleasures set forth by a stage loaded with superior actors who understand the play even if spectators are baffled."
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Dan Zeff

Chicago On Stage - Highly Recommended

"...Buried Child, the surreal Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by Sam Shepard, is a difficult play to watch. Not because so much is happening, but because so little is happening. This one is a slow burn: we are introduced to the world's most dysfunctional family meticulously, over the course of the first two acts. (There are three, including two intermissions, which is at least one too many. It was done on Broadway with none; eliminating one here would tighten up a long evening.) The characters are developed deliberately; it takes time to get to know them. Director Kimberly Senior's languid pace helps to give them the chance to grow as it helps the audience to assimilate into Shepard's story of an Illinois farm home broken by time, bad luck, modernization, and secrets."
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Karen Topham

PicksInSix - Highly Recommended

"...Yando’s commanding presence spews forth effortlessly, whether he is alone on stage or amid the chaos that is unfolding around him. Cochran’s manic sensitivity intersects perfectly with the powerhouse supporting performances of Montgomery and Kane. Kenyon deftly navigates a challenging role. Ishak’s unsettling panic is palpable."
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Ed Tracy

  Buried Child 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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