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  First Love is the Revolution Reviews
First Love is the Revolution
First Love is the Revolution

First Love is the Revolution
Steep Theatre
Thru - Jun 8, 2019

Show Information


Steep Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Somewhat Recommended

"...De Mayo’s cast throws itself into all of this stuff with zeal. At times, this very busy production feels overly cacophonous, too scattered, all as if the production didn’t quite trust its own script or heart and felt like it needed a stylistic, frenetic, punk-rock kind of veneer to operate effectively. I don’t think that’s the right tack — truth is truth, and an audience can believe in all kinds of love affairs, if they are put before them with some honesty. The most effective performance here is from Lucy Carapetyan. She plays a fox, too, but she is mostly showing us a mother."
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Chris Jones



Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended

"...Jordan Arredondo, who plays Basti, has a gentle presence. "You smell like something that has given up," Rdeca tells him, a terrifying dare to measure up to the bar of aggressiveness our society forces on men. Director Devon de Mayo is at her best when teasing out the charm and comedy in the destruction. Sequences involving supporting actors playing a dog, cat, chickens, and a mole are absolutely hilarious. However, the intentionally light tone takes the air out of a few of the more brutal and dramatic moments of the play, including the wild and disquieting ending."
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Sheri Flanders



NewCity Chicago- Highly Recommended

"..."First Love" is an entry into this second category and is, frankly, a welcome one. Not that Kalnejais doesn't have plenty to teach us about human and animal nature. (Begin by asking yourself, "What's the difference?") Yet, in filtering these values and reflections through a conceit that is unapologetically curious, even child-like (a term that gets a bad rap in our play-pretend grownup world), she can be instructive without descending into didacticism. This play and its production are open, gracious and unexpected, like when you've slipped and had the wind knocked out of you only to discover what a breathtaking shade of blue the sky is from your position on the ground. Which, incidentally, could also describe the feeling of falling in love for the first time. Both are worth remembering and both can be found, if you too are curious and open, within this production's fleeting run."
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Kevin Greene



Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended

"...There’s so much to love, admire and applaud in Devon de Mayo’s excellent, compelling production of Rita Kalnejais’ unusual play. On one level it’s a touching story about a sad, young man who finally finds the love and warmth missing from his hollow home. On another level, this play can be seen as a metaphor for all those brave individuals who dare to love outside what’s thought to be “normal.” It also makes us ponder our relationship to animals, considering how differently they look at people. And, in the end, Ms. Kalnejais asks her audience to consider man’s inhumanity to man and the cruelty human beings constantly inflict. She seems to challenge us to wonder, “Who are the real animals here?”"
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Colin Douglas



Third Coast Review- Highly Recommended

"...Heartbreaking and hilarious. Both at the same time. First Love Is the Revolution at Steep Theatre is a classic romance where two young people break from their warring families to be together. But it isn't Romeo and Juliet or Eloise and Abelard. It's interspecies love between a young human and a red fox."
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Nancy Bishop



Storefront Rebellion- Highly Recommended

"...And their central pairing is surrounded by brilliant touches. Jackson’s secondary role as a hypermasculine guard dog is a wonder to behold; Arnel Sancianco’s clever set is packed with Easter eggs (take a closer look at the wheat-pasted gig posters on the walls); costume designer Mieka van der Ploeg deserves every award and several monetary prizes for her conception of the animal characters. Only a few times a season do I find myself so unexpectedly bowled over by a show this singular. First Love is one of my most-loved productions of the year so far."
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Kris Vire



Picture This Post- Somewhat Recommended

"...If you're a person who likes shows that have messages and deeper meanings that make you leave the theatre thinking, FIRST LOVE IS THE REVOLUTION is a good pick for you. However, if you're not into theatre blurring the lines between what's love/what's not, this one might be one to sit out."
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Alexis Bugajski