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  Four Places Reviews
Four Places
The Den Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Highly Recommended

"...Johnson's gift here is to parse these questions out in small, clipped moments that build inexorably to reveal a painful pattern, and Mortensen's cast has a firm grasp on just how much to reveal, and when, in order to give us a growing sense of despair without tipping over into histrionics. Yet there is also great mordant wit in their exchanges, as one might expect from a family that would rather change the subject than engage in confrontation. No wonder that, when confrontation comes, it's in the form of an emotional stew of ugly recriminations and bittersweet memories."
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Kerry Reid



Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended

"...Against the ostentatious hamming of the others, Thalken demonstrates the utmost mastery of her craft in her virtuosic performance as Peggy, who is cantankerous, hilarious, heartbreaking, and sincere in her every breath and gesture. Under Lia Mortensen's direction Four Places hovers brilliantly between both the syrupy pleasantries of social and commercial discourse and the private humiliation of bodily dysfunction, the idealized roles of parents and children and their disappointing realities."
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Irene Hsiao



Windy City Times- Highly Recommended

"...Director Lia Mortenson has assembled an all-star cast led by Meg Thalken, whom theatergoers may recall from the play's 2008 premiere at Victory Gardens in the role of Ellen, but who now portrays the acerbic Peggy ( with the aid of a few subtlely applied mannerisms necessary to achieve the requisite geriatric aspect ). Bruch Reed, Amy Montgomery and Rebekah Ward likewise deliver performances invoking our sympathies for the children whose suffering is not so much the legacy of their propensity for deception than their remorseless endorsement of its practice. ( Consider that as a topic for post-show discussions.)"
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Mary Shen Barnidge



Around The Town Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...That small and recently renovated and charming theatre on Milwaukee Ave, in the heart of Wicker Park, has an emotionaly draining very reaslistic play called Four Places, written by Joel Drake Johnson. This play shows us the real problem that faces us today and the future of this Country with the disease “Alzhemers Dementia.”"
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Frank Meccia



Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended

"...The Den Theatre’s excellent revival of Joel Drake Johnson’s poignant one-act drama is sometimes searing, often humorous and ultimately heartbreaking. Theatergoers of a certain age will identify with the situation and these characters. As Baby Boomers approach their twilight years when, more often than not, their care and well-being is in the hands of their children, this dark drama, wisely directed by Lia Mortensen, is meaningful. The production quietly works its way under the skin, leaving nerves raw and exposed and its complex emotional journey traveled back home."
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Colin Douglas