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  Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf: A Parody at Writers Theatre

Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf: A Parody

Writers Theatre
325 Tudor Court Glencoe

This hilarious result of a collaboration between Writers Theatre and Chicago's world-renowned comedy theatre, The Second City, asks the intriguing question: What happens when the most recognizable characters from some of the greatest American plays of the 20th century suddenly find themselves sharing the same stage? When a mysterious invitation brings Blanche DuBois back to New Orleans, she finds herself once again face-to-face with the smoldering Stanley Kowalski. That would be challenge enough, but they are soon joined by luckless salesman Willy Loman and hard-drinking, hard-fighting couple George and Martha, and suddenly all bets are off. Add a folksy Stage Manager and the comic genius of The Second City team, and the question quickly becomes: Will the American Theatre ever be the same?

Thru - Aug 14, 2016

Tuesdays: 7:30pm
Wednesdays: 7:30pm
Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 7:30pm
Saturdays: 3:00pm & 7:30pm
Sundays: 2:00pm & 6:00pm

Price: $35-$80

Stage: The Gillian Theatre

Show Type: Comedy

Box Office: 847-242-6000

Running Time: 1hr, 10mins

Writers Theatre Seating Charts

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  Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf: A Parody Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...Still, the script is the script on whatever night you're there, and I'd call this one modestly and intermittently amusing, which was not true of, say, the Hubbard Street/Second City collaboration, which was truly inspired. This one plays insider pool but doesn't really want to pocket the nine ball anywhere other than where you might expect. And, frankly, there is a crowded field of meta-dramatic spoofs of the theater that reach far more farcical heights than this one."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...If imitation is the greatest form of flattery, then parody and satire might well compete for that honor. So what better way to inaugurate Writers' Gillian Theatre, the flexible (50- to 99-seat) studio space in its new Glencoe home, than to bring a little irreverence into the room, along with a nod to Chicago's satirical improv tradition? After all, sacred cows exist to be slaughtered (remember the "Last Mama-on-the Couch Play" sequence in George C. Wolfe's "The Colored Museum," which boldly satirized Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun"?) And if you cleverly toss in a sendup of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town," along with brief references to "The Glass Menagerie" and "The Iceman Cometh," you've got quite a comic feast of zanily skewered theatrical conventions."
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Hedy Weiss

Daily Herald - Highly Recommended

"...I can't remember a show that delivered as many laughs as consistently as this combination sendup and celebration of four theatrical masterworks (with references to about a dozen more) produced in cooperation with The Second City. Writers' world premiere -- which inaugurates the black box Gillian Theatre in the company's new North Shore complex -- embodies the best of both collaborators: First-rate stagecraft and a first-tier acting ensemble from Writers; sly, topical humor and breakneck pacing from Second City."
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Barbara Vitello

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Now I know why I've spent night after night going to show after show. It was all prep for this Writers Theater/Second City coproduction, playing hilariously with a fistful of 20th-century stage classics. Actually, you don't need to be a critic to enjoy Tim Sniffen's script, Stuart Carden and Michael Halberstam's direction, and their cast of exceptional pros."
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Tony Adler

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...Let's just say right up front that the show is a laugh riot of fun-particularly for veteran theatergoers who have spent countless hours sitting through classic works by 20th-century U.S. playwright titans like Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Edward Albee and Thornton Wilder. There's even some local name-dropping, with David Mamet and the European import of Samuel Beckett to chortle at, too."

Scott C. Morgan

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Of course, none of this would work nearly as well as it does without such an ideal cast, which also includes Marc Grapey as sad-sack Willy Loman. You can sense these actors, many of whom can often be found playing these kinds of characters straight, reveling in the opportunity to send them up. Fun and games, indeed."
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Kris Vire

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...Never mind the arcane title of the play, "Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf," which, yes, seems familiar in a vaguely disconcerting way. You know you're face to face with existential authenticity the moment Blanche Dubois' voice drops an octave, plunging as if into a steamy bath of lurid sensuality."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...Intermingled in the main story are short scenes referencing other reasonably well-known plays of the same era, and flashbacks which provide more opportunities for comedy at the expense of the characters and their original writers. A big part of the enjoyment here is that the actors could all plausibly play the same roles in serious productions. Willy’s nebbishness, the Stage Manager’s wryness, George’s self-loathing, Martha’s disappointment, Blanche’s fancifulness, and Stanley’s testiness are present in spades, and all involved clearly love these plays enough to do such an in-depth parody."
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Jacob Davis

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Created by Tim Ryder and Tim Sniffen and written by Sniffen, this is an amazing play that begs to ask the question- "What happens when the most recognizable characters from some of the greatest American plays of the last century find themselves sharing the same stage?""
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Co-directors Stuart Carden and Michael Halberstam effortlessly skirt the line between reverence and parody. It's a delicate balancing act, a sudden lurch to either side would leave the play either too serious to be funny or too silly to be recognizable. The pacing is well done and at seventy minutes the play feels complete without any one joke being run to the ground. You do not have to be overly familiar with or even have seen all the productions parodied here to be entertained. This play might even motivate you to buy tickets to the next local high school production of "Our Town.""
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Noel Schecter

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...Tennessee Williams once wrote that "the theatre is a place where one has time for the problems of people to whom one would ordinarily show the door." He couldn't have better described this parody. This short play is overrun with characters from other dramas, all coincidentally staying at the same New Orleans hotel. Their problems are as myriad and diverse as their personalities, yet somehow they all manage to work together in helping each other. The "kindness of strangers" that Blanche so enjoys permeates every conflict and, somehow, miraculously and humorously brings this absurd, unpredictable play to a happy conclusion."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Highly Recommended

"..."Death of... is a welcome indicator of things to come-a language driven script executed by a strong ensemble backed by incisive directing and expressive visual designs. "Death of..." could have been a self-indulgent trifle. Instead it's a droll and witty delight at just the right length. All in all, a splendid start for the second of splendid new pair of theaters."

Dan Zeff

Third Coast Review - Highly Recommended

"...The production is a parody but also a love letter, a punch and a hug, a wicked and joyful salute to theatrical history. Theater fans of all types should make the sojourn to Glencoe to see this one (and to also see the gorgeous new Writers Theatre space!). However, as a caveat: The fun is packed with theater in-jokes. So skip it if you're not a theater regular."
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Karin McKie

  Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf: A Parody 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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