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  Hellcab at The Den Theatre


The Den Theatre
1329-1333 N. Milwaukee Chicago

A Chicago classic returning to the stage, Hellcab is the story of a day in the life of a Chicago cab driver who experiences a drawn out, nightmarish night of fares from some of the city's oddest collection of customers on a cold, snowy day just days before Christmas. Drawn from real experiences from playwright Will Kern's days as a cab driver, the list of characters the cabbie encounters include: a dangerous trio of druggies, a piggish mini-capitalist, a benumbed rape victim, an argumentative pair of fellow cabbies, a drunken woman on welfare, a smug lawyer, a randy couple on the way to a motel, and two boisterous New Yorkers out on the town. With every encounter, we see through the cab driver's eyes humor, terror, longing and more as she navigates all areas of the Windy City.

Presented by Agency Theater Collective

Thru - Dec 30, 2017

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 773-697-3830

  Hellcab Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...It used to be said that every Chicago theater actor worth his salt has been in it, but the Agency Theater Collective's 25th-anniversary staging of Will Kern's love letter to the lowly taxi driver is still heartfelt and hilarious, and it doesn't look any worse for the wear."
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Dmitry Samarov

Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...The reason the show is such a standard is because this is an experience that lets the audience rejoice in actors, even as you are musing on the story of these characters. Itís a paean to actors making specific choices to live particular lives for these possibly ordinary characters. And it is a show that, if done well, will break your heart."

Angela Allyn

Around The Town Chicago - Recommended

"...For the most part, the script has held up pretty well. While certain phrases may have become outdated and some references distorted (especially in the sequence featuring two nasty and opinionated drunk sports fanatics from New York City who relish in belittling our fine city) Ė the fact that the Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series title since 1908 is happily ancient history now! The only element that does feel passe is the way that the South side of Chicago is represented. One would like to think that attitudes have shifted in the last 25 years regarding oneís personal safety in certain neighborhoods that lie south of Roosevelt Avenue."
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Jeffrey Leibham

The Fourth Walsh - Somewhat Recommended

"...Despite sluggish pacing, Austin has a talented crew (George Ellzey Jr., Harsh Gagoomal, Gabrielle Gulledge, Sean Higgins, Kate Jacobsen*, Diana Lee, Manuela Rentea, Delysa Richards, Sara Richmond*, Reginald Robinson, Jack Schultz*, Tim Touhy*, Ethan Walles* and Marie Weigle) led by Schwimmer that continually morph into engaging scenarios. This isnít your typical holiday show. Itís reality-based Christmas angst. Not everyone has the imagined cocoa-by-the-fire-white-Christmas. Some peopleís holiday is just another day. And othersí Christmas experiences are pure hell. These characters reflect the diverse experiences of authentic lives during the season."
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Katy Walsh

Third Coast Review - Recommended

"...One of the pleasures of Hellcab is the litany of Chicago lore and locations, past and present, that color every interaction. A ride to Bridgeport, a diner at Melrose and Broadway, Mercy Hospital, the Wooden Nickel Lounge at Wilson and Broadway. And ďhow about those Bulls?Ē"
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Nancy Bishop

Chicago On Stage - Recommended

"...This is a fascinating study of who we are, condensed into a single night in a single cab. It is based upon the personal experiences of the author, though there are some parts that could use updating. In scenes dealing with race relations, no matter how many years of Christmas wishes go by, we seem to be in the same positions the next time around; these characters and their issues might have been from 2017, not a quarter of a century ago, and the realization is startling. But even more startling are the cab fares: when you canít even sit down in a taxi without the meter reading $2, a full fare of $2 seems a bit ridiculous. I often found myself wishing that Kern might take some time to update his script in the easy ways needed to make it seem as completely current as the social issues still, unfortunately, are. (Like, um, you do know that the Cubs have won the World Series, right?) When so much of it just feels timeless, itís a shame not to fix the stuff that dates the script."
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Karen Topham

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