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  By The Water at Northlight Theatre

By The Water

Northlight Theatre
9501 Skokie Blvd Skokie

Hurricane Sandy has just ravaged the lifelong home of Marty and Mary Murphy. But the storm has ripped apart more than just the walls: with their neighbors too devastated to stay, the couple's beloved Staten Island community is in danger of disappearing forever. Determined to rebuild, Marty wages a campaign to save his neighborhood and his home, but when the Murphys' sons arrive to help their parents dig out, past betrayals come rushing to the surface.

Thru - Apr 23, 2017

Tuesdays: 7:30pm
Wednesdays: 1:00pm & 7:30pm
Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 2:30pm & 8:00pm
Sundays: 2:30pm & 7:00pm



Price: $30-$81

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 847-673-6300

Running Time: 1hr, 35mins

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  By The Water Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"..."By the Water" is also a chance to see some distinguished Chicago acting, led here by Francis Guinan, the Steppenwolf ensemble member who here plays a guy named Marty Murphy, a fellow who has gotten by with the kind of rigs of the system that are not uncommon among the financially strapped, but that cause problems when your house fills with water and even those who want to help want first to examine the paperwork."
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Chris Jones


Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...Over the years, disasters —both natural and man-made — have swept through the door of the modest but much-loved home of Marty and Mary Murphy, the couple at the center of “By the Water,” Sharyn Rothstein’s emotionally deep, aptly economical play, now receiving an ideal production at Northlight Theatre."
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Hedy Weiss


Daily Herald - Highly Recommended

"...Heartbreaking expressions of loss grab you from the start in the Hurricane Sandy drama "By the Water." Sharyn Rothstein's 2014 play makes a solid Midwestern debut at Skokie's Northlight Theatre and proves to be a powerful vehicle to show off amazing local theater artists at the height of their games."
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Scott C. Morgan


Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...The pace of this Northlight production, directed by Cody Estle, feels slow, and even the cast of A-list actors, led by Chicago theater stalwarts Francis Guinan and Penny Slusher, seem off their game. It's hard not to wonder whether this paint-by-numbers show, with its many unsurprising last-act revelations, just benumbed them."
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Jack Helbig


ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...The resolutions of the plot twists and the subplot involving Reitsma’s Brian and Emily Mancini (Amanda Drinkall) was nicely presented and plausible. By the Water uses the diaster to trigger deep-seated personal problems and how to move forward from them. Times change, people change, loyalties shift but family core values survive as life moves on. With clever dialogue, surprising humor and realistic characters, By the Water is a smart different family drama. Director Cody Estle has his actors nicely rendering their characters blending their angst with humor and passion. This is a wonderful play that needs to be seen."
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Tom Williams


Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...On a very realistic set (Jeffrey D. Kniec) that surely appears to show the devastation, Estle moves the scenes about. There were a few times that the actors were not as easy to hear as they are not wearing mikes. In musical shows, the actors wear body mikes, but in straight shows, not so. They do hang a few extra from the ceiling, but to be honest, it might be better for the story to have the actors heard by all who attend."
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Alan Bresloff


NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Director Cody Estle, aided by a top-notch cast, gives this D for derivative play an A+ staging. Francis Guinan is a charismatic, larger-than-life Marty. Penny Slusher, with her Edith Bunker voice and manner, is well-cast as the docile helpmeet who learns to stand her ground. Joel Reitsma excels as younger brother Brian, a royal screw-up who doubts his ability to go straight especially with Marty as role model."
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Hugh Iglarsh


Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...Cody Estle’s fine direction mines all the talent and naturalism from his perfectly-cast ensemble. He brings searing life to Sharyn Rothstein’s compact drama that expertly employs the survival of Hurricane Sandy’s destruction as a symbol for a family ripped apart by lies and deception. Set amid Jeffrey Kmiec’s meticulously accurate scenic artistry, bathed in lighting by JR Lederle and accented by a perfect sound design composed by Lindsay Jones, this is one of the finest of the many new productions to play Chicagoland this Spring."
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Colin Douglas


Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Highly Recommended

"...“By the Water” is a terrific piece of writing illuminated by a wonderful cast perfectly matched to their characters. Marty Murphy may distort his belief in community and home for his own self interest but the man is sincere in his passionate attachment to the place he has always known, and he’s understandably apprehensive of moving into unfamiliar territory. Rothstein makes all the conflicts between husband and wife, parents and children, brother and brother, and friend and neighbor absorbing and convincing. The play takes a little too long to wind down at the end, but otherwise “By the Water” is a superior theatrical and dramatic experience. Bring on Rothstein’s next play!"

Dan Zeff


Picture This Post - Somewhat Recommended

"...By the Water is a strikingly produced, albeit at times tentative, production exploring the American Dream, and catastrophe's role in defining our fate. These issues are not always at the forefront of Rothstein's by-the-book play, but specific moments sing when text and performer come together. Guinan ensures that Marty's late play insistence that he can still work is layered with desperation and wounded pride. Drinkall and Joel Reitsma get similar mileage out of the piece's budding romance, itself questionable in necessity but charted effectively with each character's dashed dreams looming large. In the end, Rothstein's play seems to make the case that our relationships with others are far more integral to our sense of community and home than the buildings we inhabit."
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Brent Eickhoff


  By The Water 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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