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  Fear And Misery Of The Third Reich at The Den Theatre

Fear And Misery Of The Third Reich

The Den Theatre
1329-1333 N. Milwaukee Chicago

As Germany careens toward war, an entire society begins to crack, and the seeds of chaos and tragedy take root in the minds of its citizens. Josh Sobel (We're Gonna Die) helms an ensemble-driven production of Brecht's 1938 classic with a contemporary eye - a warning of how insidiously a culture can make space for atrocity, and a call to never allow it to happen again.

Presented by Haven Theatre

Thru - Mar 11, 2018

Price: $18

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-697-3830

  Fear And Misery Of The Third Reich Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Haven Theatre Company presents its take on Bertolt Brechtís 1938 cry of protest against the rise of the Nazi regime. The uniformly enthusiastic cast struggles gamely to deliver Brechtís heightened, portentous screed against tyranny (translated from the German by Eric Bentley), but the productionís most affecting moments are silent and due to Claire Chrzanís stark lighting design."
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Dmitry Samarov

Windy City Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...The verbal alacrity exhibited by the Haven ensemble in navigating Eric Bentley's stiffly academic translation within an acoustically-challenged environment ensuring moments of inaudibility in every section of the audience is irrefutably commendable, as are the many creative visual devices designed to soften the emotional impact of brutal crimes. Unfortunately, as a teaching tool in 2018, Brecht's dispatches from 1938, offers us no instructive recourse for active resistance beyond withholding money from the government and saying "no" ( to which might be added "watch your back"-but we knew that already, didn't we? )."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...As compared to the heavy moral boots of, say, Arthur Miller, Brechtís writing is fleet. Each moment in ďFear and MiseryĒ offers a glimpse at something specific and unique, never to be repeated though it will be regularly mirrored elsewhere. The play is political without proselytizing, a rare feat and one all the better suited for its substantial breadth. ďFear and MiseryĒ tests the endurance (you have to hand it to Sobel for committing to the aesthetic so deeply that he forgoes conventional seating in favor of backless benches) but more crucially it implores investigation, cultural and personal of equal import. All theatrical works invite conversation. This one requires it."
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Kevin Greene

Chicago Theatre Review - Somewhat Recommended

"...Itís very clear that Josh Sobelís motivation to present this chilling collection of scenes is that history frighteningly seems to be repeating itself in America. However, many of the stories go on far too long; a few more scenes could easily be cut, without losing the horror of how the Third Reich touched its people. Those familiar with Bertolt Brechtís plays know to expect a lengthy evening, but todayís audiences may feel this production becomes interminable. Sobelís staging often makes it difficult to see each actor. Itís also sometimes hard to understand whatís being said. While the ladiesí diction is quite good, itís sloppy in some of the men. Sobel also laced his production with far too many long, meaningless pauses, during which very little happens. Coupled with some very uncomfortable seating, this long productionís strength lies primarily with its talented cast."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Recommended

"...This play may not be for everyone, but for those who enjoy intellectual stimulation and are willing to sit back and contemplate some of the harsh realities and complexities of the human experience, this is a performance you will not soon forget."
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Reno Lovison

Third Coast Review - Recommended

"...Fear and Misery in the Third Reich is an imperfect production but I suspect it will improve during its run. (And some judicious cuts will help.) Itís worth your time to see this rarely performed play by Brecht, a Marxist who left Germany just after Hitler took power in 1933. After WWII ended, he returned and lived in East Germany for the rest of his life. His most frequently performed plays are Mother Courage and Her Children, The Threepenny Opera, The Caucasian Chalk Circle and The Good Person of Szechwan. My favorite Brecht play is The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, which had a terrific staging by Trap Door last March. Prop Thtr produced The Last Days of the Commune in October."
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Nancy Bishop

Picture This Post - Recommended

"...While those familiar with Brecht will enjoy certain aspects more than others, this production could easily be followed by anyone who enjoys challenging theatre. People who enjoy sci-fi anthologies will feel at home and wonder if their favorite shows were influenced by this script. However, the main appeal is the experience of walking into the unknown and understanding we're all lost in this together."
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Sharai Bohannon

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