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  Charles Ives Take Me Home at Strawdog Theatre

Charles Ives Take Me Home

Strawdog Theatre
1802 W. Berenice Chicago

When a father's love of music clashes with his daughter's passion for basketball, long-dead modernist composer Charles Ives is the perfect referee. Featuring Ives pieces performed by Dave Belden including "Variations On America," "The Unanswered Question," "Things Our Fathers Loved (from 114 Songs)," "Sonata for violin and piano no. 4," and "The Concord Sonata." Charles Ives Take Me Home is a comic and poignant story of dissonance, defense and devotion.

Thru - Jun 21, 2014

Price: $28

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 773-528-9696

Running Time: 1hrs, 20mins

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  Charles Ives Take Me Home Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...If you like plays that debate the corners of American culture, you'll like enjoy "Charles Ives Take Me Home," which is well directed by Keira Fromm and features potent performances from Dave Belden as the father and, especially, Stephanie Chavara as the passionate athlete who wants nothing so much as to lose herself in a river of sweat and motion. Chavara has a tough assignment here — her kinetic character is at the right end of the dial for pretty much the entire duration of the show and Chavara throws herself into that life force but also lets you see the pain beneath. It's a tough task, well executed. Belden is more elusive and inscrutable, which probably is the right way to go, given that his daughter keeps taking her fight to her father's court."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...Vann brings a wonderfully wise, avuncular, yet childlike spirit to his portrayal of Ives, suggesting the sort of father John lacked. Belden, a member of the Chicago Sinfonietta, plays beautifully, and does not shy away from embodying a character you just want to shake. (The show’s music direction is by Mike Przygoda, with original music by Christopher Kriz.)"
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"..."Music is wet and pungent," John states in a characteristically poetic aside. "It leaves a stain." Dickey's script is full of such synapse-provoking musings, glimmering creatures appearing in a dark stream. But unlike Eno, Dickey struggles to put her poetic gifts in the service of theatrical action. The contentious relationship between John and Laura—which should be the play's emotional core—is static and two-dimensional, for 80 minutes. Keira Fromm's well-acted, perfectly paced production is full of echoes but little resonance."
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Justin Hayford

Centerstage - Somewhat Recommended

"...There’s a lot of tough, complex drama to be found in the relationship between fathers and their progeny. Unfortunately, “Charles Ives Take Me Home” used the easy to swallow aspects and leaves the true dramatic meat on the bone. The new production from the respected Strawdog Theatre gives the surface impression of depth, but leaves the audience with only the most easily wrought lessons about life, labor and parenthood."

David Devries

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...But there are elements in Dickey's script, particularly in its timeline, that are unnecessarily confusing; Ives died in 1954, we're told, and Laura was conceived while John studied with him at Juilliard, yet teenage Laura declares herself a fan of the Indigo Girls. So when does all this take place? And John's obstinacy expands to the point of cruelty to his daughter, which begins to strain both sympathy and credulity as the clock winds down toward the final buzzer."
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Kris Vire

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...Like the music of its namesake composer, “Charles Ives Take Me Home” is at once down-to-earth and complex, brash and affecting. The play’s credibility requires an actor in the role of the violinist who can actually play Ives’ technically demanding music with ease and expressivity. This production boasts such a multitalented figure in Dave Belden, whose artistic world is divided between acting and playing violin in the Chicago Sinfonietta among other ensembles."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...Allow yourself to be welcomed into the arms of Charles Ives Take Me Home and permit the story telling, cast, and Ives' music to fill you with joy. In a world that seems brimming with sorrow, it's rare to find a piece that will show you otherwise. Charles Ives Take Me Home is an excellent close to Strawdog's 26th season, ushering us into a summer filled with possibilities. This is the type of art that makes life worth living."
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Michael Gerrity

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...What happens between a father and his daughter ( the woman in his life that will always be “his little girl”) when their lives take separate paths? Yet, these paths may lead to the same place! Strawdog Theatre Company , one of Chicago’s hidden treasures, located up a few blocks from well known Wrigley Field, is now presenting Jessica Dickey’s beautiful story about a father and daughter, “Charles Ives Take Me Home”, 80 minutes of sheer artistry with a powerful balance of story, and music as well as solid acting."
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Alan Bresloff

The Fourth Walsh - Highly Recommended

"...CHARLES IVES TAKE ME HOME is a perfect Father's Day tribute. It showcases a father-daughter relationship that doesn't follow a traditional tempo. Instead, each struggles to define their life on their own terms. Both want to be an aficionado in their chosen passion. The ongoing conflict is respecting the other person's choice. Dickey's story is relatable for any parent that wants a child to be a living legacy of their own life's passion."
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Katy Walsh

  Charles Ives Take Me Home 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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