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  Genius at Profiles Theatre - The Alley Stage


Profiles Theatre - The Alley Stage
4147 N. Broadway Chicago

Genius examines the secrets and alliances of two creative couples from different generations who find their lives changed forever one evening after an electric dinner party. Joel, a once highly regarded painter turned museum director caught in the midst of a very public indiscretion and his wife Sara, a formally famous journalist, venture to Brooklyn for dinner with their new friends Peter and Chelsea, a young filmmaking couple with rising careers and a baby on the way. After an evening riddled with illuminating discoveries, deceptions and perhaps too much wine, each couple deconstructs the evening's events as they grapple with their own uncertain futures. Using a constantly shifting timeline, playwright Kate Walbert turns her kaleidoscopic lens on two marriages battered by urgent ambitions.

Thru - May 3, 2015

Thursdays: 8:00pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 5:00pm & 8:00pm
Sundays: 7:00pm

Price: $35-$40

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-549-1815

Running Time: 1hr, 15mins

  Genius Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...In the best scene of director Darrell W. Cox's new production, the excellent Chavara's Charlotte is told by her guilty husband (Haupert has a way to go here) of how this has gone down, and she deals with the complexities of maybe being betrayed by the man she loves, or maybe just having to face some kind of personal truth. It's quite a riveting couple of minutes."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...All in all, “Genius” is a truly depressing picture of marriage and artistic egos — a sort of Internet age version of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.” And while there are a couple of scenes that feel organic (Chavara and Haupert have some believable chemistry), much of this play about notably unlikeable people seems forced."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Kate Walbert's new one-act for Profiles Theatre is stuffed with whiny diatribes that to its further detriment are presented in earnest, and while Darrell W. Cox's production almost has the bones of good satire, it's just as self-serious as the characters it martyrs."
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Dan Jakes

Windy City Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...Of course, this same scenario can be viewed ( perhaps even by the playwright herself ) as simply another threadbare case study in troubled-marriages-among-the-privileged-classes, but where's the fun in that? Director Darrell W. Cox has instructed Liz Zweifler, Stephanie Chavara, Cale Haupert and Robert Breuler to play their cards close to the vest, even when shifting Michelle Lilly's ultracompact origami-like scenery, allowing audiences to parse the dynamic as guided by their own experience."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Edge - Recommended

"...All in all, though, for having an intriguing premise, interesting characters, and good acting, "Genius" is worth seeing. With such a strong foundation, I for one am keen to watch Walbert's work evolve on the Chicago stage."
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Colleen Cottet

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...The mystery of genius and the frailty of ego may only appear to be separate subjects. They fuse in complicated and absorbing ways in Kate Walbert’s new play “Genius” at Profiles Theatre – a world premiere that well may be Chicago’s theatrical sleeper of the season."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

ChicagoCritic - Somewhat Recommended

"...I found the timelines and flashback's needlessly confusing and the many movement of furniture and the wall bed distracting. All the speechifying, especially by Joel and Sara as well as the indirect exposition by Peter to be repetitious and wordy. Since I didn't really care much for any of these bohemian characters, their whining and foibles bored me more than engaged me. This play is underwritten and the switching back and forth didn't help clarify things. If it wasn't for the worthy performances by Cale Haupert and Stephanie Chavara, Genius would be a boring yawner. As it plays now, it needs a expanded rewrite. But, there is a worthy play hidden here waiting to get out."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Somewhat Recommended

"...Despite my qualms, Genius turns in a rather entertaining performance due to the strong presence of its four actors and the outstanding ability of Cox to direct in the Alley Stage space. Get there early and choose your seat wisely, though. Simply due to the nature of the space and the needs of the script to create multiple distinct spaces, there are some conversations that may be difficult to see based on your seat. A stoop conversation that was slightly out of view for me was right in the lap of my counterparts across the aisle, but Cox made sure the opposite was true in a separate scene. It’s a testament to Cox and the actors that they take a script that otherwise lacks the dramatic pull to make this a great play and manage draw the audience in to the point of them staying completely interested and engaged for seventy minutes. Even if, by the end, you’re still left with a few missing pages."

Jerald Raymond Pierce

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Do you live for the exhilaration of being ruthlessly enlightened by a mind superior to your own? Then go see this play."
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Bill Sweetland

Chicago Theatre Review - Somewhat Recommended

"...Clearly, there is talent behind “Genius,” but again, it fails to amount to anything profound and lasting, Walbert’s characters are ultimately to blame for that shortcoming. “Genius” is a decidedly New York play, meaning a play that, despite taking place in the most populated and diverse city in America, features an entirely white cast of artists and writers, people who know who Dionysus was in Greek mythology, and who see their films premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, and who are asked by the MacArthur Foundation to nominate individuals for its “Genius” grant – in other words, people who represent a small sliver of the American population, and who could only be bred in the artistic ignorance that is wholly indicative of New York’s theater and art scene and thankfully absent in Chicago’s."
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Peter Thomas Ricci

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Somewhat Recommended

"..."Genius" being a world premiere, one presumes the playwright will be open to revision to shore up the thin storyline and flesh out the characters and their relationships. The current cast definitely is capable of delivering on better material. But maybe "Genius" will work better as a short novel, where Walbert can move her characters around on the printed page more fluently than she can on a stage. In any case there isn't much in the current version that indicates the play has a future beyond its Profiles run."

Dan Zeff

The Fourth Walsh - Highly Recommended

"...This smart, funny Genius almost begs to be seen again to better appreciate how the puzzle pieces fit together, and with such honest, entertaining performances, you would no doubt be rewarded for doing so."
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Tom Lawler

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