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  Everything is Illuminated at Noyes Cultural Arts Center

Everything is Illuminated

Noyes Cultural Arts Center
927 Noyes Street Evanston

With only a yellowing photograph in hand, a young man, Jonathan, sets out to find the woman who may or may not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Accompanied by an old man haunted by memories of the war; an amorous dog named Sammy Davis, Jr. Jr.; and the unforgettable Alex, a young Ukrainian translator who speaks in a sublimely butchered English, Jonathan is led on a quixotic journey over a devastated landscape into an unexpected past.

Thru - Apr 14, 2013

Price: $30-$40

Show Type: Drama

Running Time: 2hrs, 10mins; one intermission

  Everything is Illuminated Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"..."Everything is Illuminated," which also features the very lively Sasha Gioppo and H. B. Ward, should do well up at Next. This is a thoughtful, nuanced piece of theater that takes a familiar theme and makes it at once strange and familiar. It is true to the specifics of its situation, but also reflective on the perils of memory, the longevity of regret, and the complex business of both acknowledging our inherent connection to, and asserting our independence from, whatever it was our relatives either did or did not do, far away and long ago."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Although Alex addresses us in Block's adaptation, the narrative is no longer his in the same, essential way. Consequently, that narrative fragments--and, worse, loses the almost mythic dimension that distinguishes the book. What's left is several story strands that don't quite mesh. Still, Devon de Mayo and her cast make the best of what they've got. Alex Goodrich radiates sweetness as Alex, William J. Norris radiates the scent of ammonia as Alex's caustic granddad, and Ann Whitney simply radiates, beautifully, as the woman at the heart of Foer's mystery. Brad Smith's Jonathan is human in a way that Elijah Wood just isn't in the 2005 movie."
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Tony Adler

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Scenic designer Grant Sabin's eclectic curio cabinets and lighting designer Heather Gilbert's brilliant use of practical instruments enhance De Mayo's jewel-box staging. One might accuse Block of mild cheating in his denouement, which has newly successful Jonathan at an author appearance, reading "one of the most requested passages" from Everything Is Illuminated. But Next's production is nothing if not luminous."
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Kris Vire

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...there's no equivocation about the six splendid performances that de Mayo inspires - accents, action, expressions, everything. If storytelling is worth more than the lessons learned and the journey counts more than the destination, Everything Is Illuminated casts its light on a vast and unforgivable darkness."
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Lawrence Bommer

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...This is a wonder, at time whimsical and eventually heart-wrenching. theatrical event. We are deeply moved by this work as we accompany Jonathan on his quixotic journey in search of the past that he discovers in an unexpected manner. Alex Goodrich is terrific as the charming English-challenged guide while William J. Norris and Ann Whitney explode with emotions. This is a journey that you'll want to take."
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Tom Williams

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Directed by Devon de Mayo on a set designed by Grant Sabin that is filled with many treasures ( amazing props by Eileen Rozycki) this is a charmingly easy production to watch. The actors move the set pieces around as if choreographed and the use of the aisles fits perfectly. Heather Gilbert's lighting and Miek van der Ploeg's costumes are the final touches to the recipe for a wonderful and heartfelt ( as well as educational) theatrical experience from Next Theatre Company."
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Alan Bresloff

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Highly Recommended

"..."Everything Is Illuminated" is receiving its American premiere at the Next and has found a responsive audience. The show has been extended for two weeks and could become a staple of the regional theater circuit. It touches on sensitive personal matters and moral dilemmas that should connect with any intelligent adult audience, Jewish and non Jewish alike. But a production at the high level on display at the Next Theatre is essential."

Dan Zeff

  Everything is Illuminated 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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