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  Burn This at Theater Wit

Burn This

Theater Wit
1229 W Belmont Ave Chicago

Set in a bohemian loft on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Lanford Wilson’s BURN THIS is a penetrating exploration of four violently opposing characters scrambling to regain control over their lives. Dancer-turned-choreographer Anna has built a life with her two gay roommates, advertising executive Larry and her artistic partner, Robbie – until Robbie’s untimely death. With the help of Anna’s longtime boyfriend, Burton, she and Larry have just begun to make sense of their new reality when their lives are suddenly turned upside down by the unexpected arrival of Robbie’s older brother, Pale. It is Pale’s presence – and the tension it generates – that forces each character to reexamine life, art, and passion.

Thru - Nov 18, 2012

Price: $18-$32

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-795-8150

Running Time: 2hrs, 30mins; one intermission

  Burn This Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...Wilson's play retains a few creaky and underdeveloped elements — Larry, despite Szczepaniak's sunny portrayal, is more or less a Gay Quip Machine, and Woodard's Burton, though hugely decent, seems to be in the play mostly as Anna's obvious safe counterpart to dangerous Pale. But LoConti delivers a mesmerizing portrait of a woman emerging from an emotional cocoon. Whether her flight toward the flame will provide salvation or burn her wings remains the tantalizing unanswered question at the heart of this sympathetic and engaging production."
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Kerry Reid

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Under Linda Gillum's direction, the Shattered Globe Theatre ensemble deftly negotiate the verbal pyrotechnics, campy quips, and physical violence in this actors' showpiece. But their best efforts can't make Wilson's clockwork drama resonate with truthfulness."
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Albert Williams

Windy City Times - Recommended

"...There's no denying the sad occasion that launches the dramatic action-in this case, the untimely death in a boating accident of a talented young dancer. His boho-artist roommates mourn his passing, each according to individual temperament-gay Larry channels his grief into compulsive waggery, while het Anna turns hers inward despite the comfort offered by her screenwriter fiance. Then one night, the deceased's brother invades their melancholic torpor-Jimmy, or "Pale" as he insists on being called, is a boisterous, vulgar, hard-drinking, coke-snorting schlemiel who vomits forth his anger with the willful intractability of an infant in a tantrum. Surprisingly, Anna-who has just declared "mother love" to be an alien concept to her-finds herself curiously attracted to this visceral oaf."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Centerstage - Not Recommended

"... Shattered Globe's new production of "Burn This" by Lanford WIlson is desperately lacking in depth. While it hits the right beats and finds the right rhythms, it never gets at what's beneath the surface, at what makes this a story worth telling. For a group of artists with such obvious skill, it's disappointing. Like watching Oscar winners do a movie of the week."

Alex Huntsberger

ShowBizChicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...Director Linda Gillum allows her actors much freedom and luckily they make this uneven material work, as the script creates characters that are difficult for the audience to become invested. Ms. LoConti turns in a very understated and moving performance as Anna; Mr. Szczepaniak, one of Chicago's best up and coming actors, is perfectly cast as Larry; Brad Woodward gives the most truthful performance as Burton, while Ryan Kitley commands every scene he is in as Robbie's brother Pale."
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Michael Roberts

ChicagoCritic - Somewhat Recommended

"...I found the play dated with too many 80′s references. The show seemed a tad under rehearsed and the acting was uneven with Kitley being too strong and LoConti too subdued. Szczpaniak's honesty won the day. Burn This is not one of Lanford Wilson's better plays. I never could see how Pale could be attractive to Anna beyond occasional sexual play and why Larry would play matchmaker between Pale and Anna. I just didn't get much of Burn This."
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Tom Williams

Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Highly Recommended

"...Playwright Lanford Wilson penned this tale in 1986. 25+ years ago, a family denying a member's homosexuality was probably fairly common. I'm hoping this is now a ludicrous notion. Despite the relevance of that premise, the idea of adults trapping themselves in dead-end jobs and relationships is a timeless theme. Wilson created four distinct characters and forced them to interact. Under the direction of Linda Gillum, this cast crackles with humanity and volatility. Gillum starts the play with a flicker in the darkness. Gillum piles it on to turn the ashes from that cigarette into a raging bonfire. This show is all about smoldering passions and Gillum has the cast fan the flames."
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Katy Walsh

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