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  How I Learned To Drive at Raven Theatre

How I Learned To Drive

Raven Theatre
6157 N. Clark St Chicago

Rural Maryland, 1960s. From behind the wheel of a Chevy '56, a woman named Li'l Bit navigates the tangled boulevards of her adolescence, reflecting on her complex and troubling relationship with her family. But old secrets and fresh discoveries abound as she struggles to accept her past and the demons that live there.

Thru - Mar 24, 2019

Price: $46

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-338-2177

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  How I Learned To Drive Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...In the decades since “How I Learned to Drive” was first produced, we’ve learned a lot more about how predators operate. Some of what Vogel lays out here may now seem obvious in the aftermath of multiple sexual abuse stories that have encompassed universities, entertainment moguls and churches, among other institutions. But in Estle’s production, we clearly see how — one little bit after another — victims are reeled in. Even if they manage to swim away from the source of their pain, the hooks remain."
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Kerry Reid

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Raven Theatre's production, directed by Cody Estle, is faithful to the text but hits some wrong notes in the telling. This primarily manifests as Eliza Stoughton's uncertainty with how to represent a mature Li'l Bit's narration, which fades against the dialogue from her youth. Mark Ulrich also seems miscast as a scraggy, cardigan-sporting Peck. Though a literal age differential reliably evokes the predictable disgust, the tension of believable attraction that the play requires is not present."
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Irene Hsiao

Chicago On the Aisle - Recommended

"...It's hard to imagine a more pathetic character than this troubled, creepy man - or a more empathic embodiment than Mark Ulrich offers in a sharply focused performance. Uncle Peck seduces children; we get that drift. We don't know whether he sets the same firm boundaries in all his pursuits as he does with Li'l Bit. Ulrich's predator is like a mountain lion that has become fascinated by a particular fawn and will not kill it. Uncle Peck's obsession with Li'l Bit is all-consuming. He waits for her to volunteer what he so longingly, painfully desires; but she does not. He knows she will, though - knows his infinite patience will be consummated. Ulrich plays this mad anticipation like breathing out and breathing in. Just keep breathing, and one day all will be wonderful beyond imagination."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Stage and Cinema - Highly Recommended

"...Telling one tough tale truly, Vogel could not have guessed in 1997 how vital this literally driving drama would prove to be today. Raven Theatre has done us proud by restoring its horrors and its healing."
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Lawrence Bommer

NewCity Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...Estle’s work with this cast is the true strength of this production, creating a sense of unity and clarity in the tight-knit ensemble. Kathryn Acosta is a scene-stealer navigating multiple women in Li’l Bit’s life. Their storytelling is emotionally resonant and exists as the heart of this “Drive.” If only there wasn’t the constant impulse to shine a light on an image we can already see, clear as day."
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Ben Kaye

Chicago On Stage - Highly Recommended

"...And Estle’s direction itself, as he gets so many disparate performances from his small set of actors, as he toys with set changes when the mood is appropriate (at one point turning it into a dance), as transition moments take on a life of their own, and as he and Intimacy Director Rachel Flesher handle disturbing, difficult moments with painful aplomb, is extraordinary. If you’ve never seen Vogel’s masterwork before, you owe it to yourself to see this production. If you have, Estle manages to mine new depths from a powerful script. It’s not a comfortable, uplifting show, but it’s an excellent one. Don’t miss it."
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Karen Topham

Picture This Post - Recommended

"...This play is best suited for those looking to take a journey through a lesser discussed difficult topic in the family structure. Again, those triggered by such topics should steer clear, perhaps until proper support is included in the production."
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Brittany Harlin

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   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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