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  By the Bog of Cats at The Artistic Home

By the Bog of Cats

The Artistic Home
1376 W Grand Chicago

Set on a ghostly landscape in Ireland, By the Bog of Cats is the story of a woman who's had a lifetime of abandonment and decides to lay claim to everything that's hers on a day when her world's being torn in half. Not only did her mother run off when she was a girl, but today the great love of her life, with whom she has a seven-year-old daughter, is marrying into a family that wants her kicked off the land. She has no one to turn to except local misfits, who are part of a community filled with outrageous, funny, terrible people. It’s one day in the life of a woman pushed beyond the limits of human endurance as she is forced to make a final horrible, self sacrificing decision. Mossman says of the play, “Think Greek tragedy on an Irish Bog. Just as tragic but twice as funny and pure poetry, in the great Irish tradition.”

Thru - Apr 15, 2017

Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 8:00pm
Sundays: 3:00pm

Price: $28-$32

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Running Time: 2hrs, 15mins; one intermission

  By the Bog of Cats Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...The ghosts here aren't only in memories. Hester's dead half-brother, Joseph (Kieran O'Connor) shows up bearing scars of their last encounter. (A "ghost fancier," played by John LaFlamboy, does feel like a bit as if Carr is gilding the mystical lily). The show opens with a potent portent - Hester dragging a dead black swan onstage. The local eccentric/seer, Catwoman, the Tiresias of the tale, offers dark prophecies in between snacking on mice and lapping up wine at the wedding banquet. (Caroline Dodge Latta's cagily comic but relatively understated performance, enhanced by Zach Wagner's inspired coat of tatty fur, is a highlight.)"
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Kerry Reid

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Catastrophic events follow, but there's also dark humor and old-timey wisdom, courtesy of ghosts and the bog's resident seer, Catwoman (Caroline Dodge Latta). The show possesses an otherworldly atmosphere of magical realism; as Josie, Wolf brings much-needed cheerfulness to the tragedy and beautifully sings its folksy soundtrack."
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Marissa Oberlander

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...At the center of the inexorable conflict is Kristin Collins, whose portrayal of the obsessed Hester propels us through a dizzying range of visceral responses arising from the clash of unyielding convictions accelerated by Frank Nall and Jane DeLaubenfels, playing the autocratic patriarch Cassidy and stifling widow Kilbride. From the first moments, we can only watch, like the innocents caught in the crossfire, as the course of True Love Thwarted comes to its inevitable conclusion."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...Fans of Greek tragedies as well as fans if Irish drama together with dedicated theatre patrons will enjoy this play. By the Bog of Cats is a a polished, well staged and finely acted drama that begs to be seen. Once more The Artistic Home proves that they are among Chicago’s finest theatre troupes."
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Tom Williams

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Centering the play is the abandonment and alienation that pervades Hester's life, from the mother who left when she was seven to the overt and hidden disdain for tinkers. Hester is clear-sighted but powerless in a society that has always rejected her, unable to transform suffering into love."
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Irene Hsiao

Irish American News - Highly Recommended

"...Artistic Home have struck fool's gold with this play. It has no material value, but it gives us insight into ourselves, if we let it, and that's the acid test of true art. We must commend this theatre for having the courage to perform a work that exposes the glitter in our self-satisfied world for not being the genuine article. The Xavier Cassidy of Carr's play is alive and well, peddling lies via twitter, and social media. If you do not fear the 'truth', go see this wonderful work. It will unsettle you in the best possible way."
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Terry Boyle

Third Coast Review - Recommended

"...By the Bog of Cats is notable for fine performances by Collins as Hester, Latta as the Catwoman and Niall as Cassidy. Elise Wulf is a likable and precocious Josie. Director Mossman sets his story on a spare Artistic Home stage. The rear wall is painted with a scene of plants and grasses in blues and grays. Hester's "caravan" sits at one side opposite the cottage. The scenic design by Anders Jacobson and Judy Radovsky is minimal but atmospheric. Claire Sangster handles lighting design and Petter Wahlback is responsible for sound. Zach Wagner's costume designs include several "wedding" dresses and the Catwoman's coat of what looks like cat fur studded with cat paws and eyes."
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Nancy Bishop

Our Urban Times - Highly Recommended

"...The Artistic Home ensemble, formed in 1998, has received many Jeff Awards in the past, this production should certainly receive high marks from this year's Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee members."
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Elaine Coorens

Picture This Post - Highly Recommended

"...Hester struggles to keep her life together as it feels like everyone in her life has abandoned her - her mother, Carthage, and even at times her own daughter. As the outside forces take control, the story comes to a close and you leave the theater satisfied and perhaps almost in tears. It will haunt you for weeks to come."
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Alexis Bugajski

  By the Bog of Cats 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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