Theatre In Chicago      
Your Source For What's On Stage In Chicago 

   Quick Search
Search by date:

  Chapter Two at Windy City Playhouse

Chapter Two

Windy City Playhouse
3014 W. Irving Park Road Chicago

Neil Simon's comedy classic is based on the playwright's real-life courtship with his second wife, actress Marsha Mason. In Chapter Two, widowed spy novelist George Schneider (McCaskill) thinks he will never date again, especially after his pushy younger brother Leo (DeFaria) sets him up with a few duds. Enter Jennie (Amy Rubenstein), a soap opera actress with a sensitive side who just might be able to bring George back into the light. Completing the cast in this sparkling rom-com is Faye (Carle), Jennie's neurotic married friend. Simon's Chapter Two was nominated for a 1978 Tony Award for Best Play (ultimately awarded to Da by Hugh Leonard).

Thru - Dec 20, 2015

Price: $25 - $45

Show Type: Comedy

Box Office: 773-891-8985

  Chapter Two Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...there is much to like in "Chapter Two," which is a very commercial comedy with plenty of laughs and more profundity than you might anticipate. With designer Scott Davis, Thebus seems to have figured out how to best use this space. Especially if you're in or near the 'hood — and double-especially if you're on a later-in-life date, you'll likely enjoy yourself."
Read Full Review

Chris Jones

Chicago Reader - Recommended

"...The content, which nods at the complexities of just "moving on," is an odd pairing with the tone: the one-two-punch witticisms and cadence feels straight out of the 60s. Jessica Thebus's production for Windy City Players is about as capable and professional as anyone could hope for, but at two and a half hours, the show doesn't feature enough of Amy J. Carle and Peter DeFaria's genuinely funny adulterous subplot to prevent the rest from feeling like an exercise in romantic inevitability."
Read Full Review

Dan Jakes

Windy City Times - Recommended

"...Making a play fresh and timely despite its main facilitating instrument being rotary-dial telephones tethered by 14-foot extension cords requires a director to dispense with old-school definitions of how Simon should be presented. Jessica Thebus and her seasoned ensemble wisely look to their text for guidance, creating whole, flawed, but immensely likable, characters not unlike those we still encounter today ( or maybe once were, ourselves ) whose self-aware banter-while swapping snappy first-meeting dialogue with George, Jennie asks, "Is this repartee?"-doesn't stop them from tracking every stop along the always-rocky road of romance."
Read Full Review

Mary Shen Barnidge

Gapers Block - Highly Recommended

"...The direction of the actors by Thebus is fantastic. All four performers stand out and feels perfectly cast for their roles. McCaskill is an affable and likeable George and Rubenstein is a fantastic Jennie--charming, cute and a good match for both McCaskill's positive energy and a fantastic counterpoint to his darker moments. And DeFaria and Carle shine as the supporting characters, Leo and Faye. These two have their own "moment," which is one of the funniest (albeit slightly predictable) turns of the play and is really comedy gold. DeFaria, in particular, is hysterical throughout the play."
Read Full Review

Jeanne Newman

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...Chapter Two is a well-made play with thoughtful design and great performances by some of Chicago's finest actors. But Rubenstein's lackluster performance prevents the show from being a great production. It caps an impressive first season for the new company, and Windy City Playhouse's next chapter is certainly something to look forward to."
Read Full Review

Jamie Mermelstein

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...Thebus’s cast savors the friction built into a script that detonates every quarter hour. Rubenstein’s quicksilver Jennie sharply sets off George’s elaborate survivor’s guilt. Her intensity becomes a kind of check, then a cure, for his torpid writer’s (emotional) block. A sexual pig for all seasons, DeFaria’s Leo has fun fucking with Faye more than fornicating. For these friends with benefits, sex separates as much as it fuses. In contrast for Jennie and George their heads mess up what their hearts desire. For Simon’s lonely souls there’s nothing artificial about their inseminations: Simon delivers a crash course in the challenge of timing desire and fulfillment as much as stimulus and orgasm. There’s no need for a Chapter Three."
Read Full Review

Lawrence Bommer

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...The Windy City Playhouse's first season has been quite eclectic in subject matter, and it will be interesting to see how the venue continues to develop going into its equally diverse, but much more contemporary second season. Chapter Two, with its sympathetic focus on people working through realistic problems, is a good fit for this comfortable space, but don't get complacent; Simon's wit requires close attention. "Nothing is inevitable, dates are man-made," Jennie says, and this is a fine place to go on one for people at any chapter in life."
Read Full Review

Jacob Davis

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...What makes this production as strong a sit is, is of course the sharp direction of Simon's tightly wound script and the four actors who truly show their love of the words that have been written. Simon is indeed a wordsmith who can bring a smile to our face with his comic genius, but at the same time, his story telling allows us to see the realistic feelings and emotions of a man who went through a lot."
Read Full Review

Alan Bresloff

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Highly Recommended

"...“Chapter Two” is a vanishing breed of play in the American theater, a realistic, solidly written work about recognizable characters dealing with recognizable problems. It’s not cutting edge and has no agenda, but its entertainment value is sky high. The show looks and sounds like a play written almost 40 years ago. Even the telephones that play a vital part in the advancement of the narrative are old fashioned table models. But the script is written with craft and audience high intelligence. Simon, now 88 years old, isn’t writing anymore and no American dramatist has assumed his mantle as master purveyor of comedy. It’s a blessing for area theatergoers that the Windy City Playhouse has recognized the merits of “Chapter Two” and its suitability to the company’s theater space and artistic mission. The production is a glory."

Dan Zeff

The Fourth Walsh - Recommended

"...CHAPTER TWO is a light-hearted trip back in time. There is a comfort factor in the simplicity of this romance. And at this time of year with all the holiday stress, CHAPTER TWO offers an easy escape from reality."
Read Full Review

Katy Walsh

  Chapter Two 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.

Twitter Follow Us On Twitter