Listen to "Talk Theatre In Chicago" for an interview with actor/playwright Neil Giuntoli as he discusses "Hizzoner". (MP3)

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  Hizzoner: Daley the First at Beverly Arts Center

Hizzoner: Daley the First

Beverly Arts Center
2407 West 111th Street Chicago

Written by and starring Neil Giuntoli, it is directed by Stefan Brun and opened March 2, 2006 at Prop Thtr to critical acclaim. Hizzoner is a theatrically intimate look at the man atop Chicago’s political machine and a major influence on national policy and politics – Richard J. Daley. Set in the changing and tumultuous history of the 1960’s and 1970’s, Hizzoner offers a behind-the-scenes view of a world rarely scene beyond City Hall as well as personalities who worked with Daley and some - like Jesse Jackson - with whom he had a crucial crossing of paths. There is also a glimpse into how "Da Mare" may have seen himself.

Listen to "Talk Theatre In Chicago" for an interview with actor/playwright Neil Giuntoli as he discusses "Hizzoner". (MP3)

Thru - Jun 29, 2008

Price: $40

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-539-7838

Running Time: 2hrs 10mins; one intermission

Beverly Arts Center Seating Chart

  Hizzoner: Daley the First Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...Giuntoli's performance as Daley truly is a sight to behold. Not only has he achieved an astonishing level of physical veracity -- many in the audience on Sunday afternoon were shaking their heads as if people couldn't quite believe what they were seeing..."

Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...The play itself, shrewd and insightful, could use a bit of tightening. And the direction (by Stefan Brun) and production values (especially some rather haphazard audiovisual material) could be kicked up a few notches. But Giuntoli's eerily authentic performance, backed by a slew of excellent supporting actors, should not be missed."

Hedy Weiss

SouthtownStar - Recommended

"...It's not just that this bio-drama, written by Neil Giuntoli, gives us a fascinating look at "Da Mare," but that Giuntoli, who also portrays the mayor, is such a dead ringer for Daley that you'd swear you were in the presence of the legendary politician himself."

Betty Mohr

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Neil Giuntoli's economical, mercurial performance in his own new play is so compelling it almost compensates for the script's lack of urgency. As Mayor Richard J. Daley, he's never less than fascinating, eclipsing everyone else in the cast."

Justin Hayford

Windy City Times - Not Recommended

"...As Daley, Giuntoli has a single, strong note: Portraying the enraged Daley blasting Mike Royko ( “Sewage flows out of him like a river” ) or turning heart-attack red over how “they” ( Chicago’s “bad Negroes” ) are destroying his city. The rest of the man? He’s a stone-faced bore, displaying none of the charisma that let him run the city like a Gaelic chieftain."
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Catey Sullivan

Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...The rest of the characters and scenes in this tribute, unfortunately, can’t touch the full-bodied creation of Giuntoli’s Daley. As his closest staffers and confidantes, the Prop’s cast spins around him with dialogue so basic it wouldn’t make a Schoolhouse Rock episode about government. A Daley solo play seems to be fighting its way out of Giuntoli’s Hizzoner, and given his acting chops, letting it free might not be a bad idea."

Christopher Piatt

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...The high points of this bio-drama come from Hizzoner’s famous press conferences. Giuntoli marvelously uses Daley’s own words with skill as he smartly delivered Daley’s style, phrasing and physical gestures so realistically, I though I was on the 5th Floor of City Hall with Hizzoner. His contempt for the press is evident."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...Hizzoner marks the 25th anniversary of Prop Thtr, which according to press notes makes it the oldest surviving Off-Loop, non Equity company in Chicago. Added to the fact is Prop's sordid history of frequent itinerate theatre-hopping, inconsistency and lack of a full season means it often flies under the radar of some of the better promoted Off-Loop companies. Hizzoner deserves to rectify that, especially if the packed house at the performance I attended is any indicator."

Joe Stead

  Hizzoner: Daley the First Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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