Hundred Days Reviews
Chicago Tribune- Recommended
"...The Bengsons’ music, under music direction by Matthew Muñiz, is exhilarating as the ensemble of Grace Bobber, David Gordon-Johnson, Lucas “Looch” Johnson, Brennan Urbi and Melanie Vitaterna each play multiple instruments and contribute background vocals to support the central story led by Emilie Modaff (Abigail) and Alec Phan (who alternates playing Shaun with Royen Kent). The sheer talent to be able to, say, go from an accordion to guitar to upright bass is enough to impress, but the a cappella sections of this show will send literal chills."
Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended
"...Step by step, we watch these two damaged but worthy souls move from tentative first meetings (at one point in a soulful soliloquy, Shaun sings, “How can you bear to let someone, let someone love you?”) through the first floods of full-throated ecstasy (“I am a universe / I’m your man”) to the softly spoken acceptance that this will not be just a hundred-day thing."
Splash Magazine- Highly Recommended
"...Kokandy Productions luminous Chicago Premiere of Hundred Days at the Chopin Theater, is indeed a show for our times. Opening line notwithstanding, it does not sink into sadness or self pity, nor become didactic. Abigail introduces her husband Shaun Bengson (Alec Phan, alternating on weekends with Royen Kent) and the rest of the Bengsons -a five member ensemble of extremely talented and exuberant musicians."
Around The Town Chicago- Highly Recommended
"...“Hundred Days” is a true celebration of life. The musicians, who play many different instruments and sing are terrific. Grace Bobber, David Gordon-Johnson, Lucas “Looch” Johnson, Brennan Urbi and Melanie Vitaterna- each and every one of these talented people bring something special to the experience and even though they know what to expect, they never show anticipation to the audience. It is as they are experiencing each segment of the story with us. They truly share their feelings with us and with the Bengsons. They are in fact, The Bengson Family."
Chicago Theatre Review- Recommended
"...Presented in a cabaret setting, with tables and chairs surrounding a small thrust stage, this unique production is 90 uninterrupted minutes of musical drama, with spurts of unexpected comedy. It’s a moving story shared between the artists and their audience. Shaun Bengson’s shy, introverted gentility is nicely contrasted with Abigail’s quirky ardor and animation. Both are truly likable characters who win our hearts with their collective joie de vivre. After almost two years of being cooped up at home because of the pandemic, it’s wonderful to see and hear a couple who are determined to live their lives to the fullest, to celebrate every moment together and make every minute count."
Chicagoland Musical Theatre- Highly Recommended
"...Music direction by Matthew Muñiz is a delightful masterclass in ensemble orchestration. Each performer on stage is both vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, and each takes a turn demonstrating their prowess. Orchestrated thoughtfully and performed cohesively, Muñiz spins a tight-woven tapestry of sound."
Chicago On Stage- Highly Recommended
"...So let me be clear from the start: Shaun and Abigail Bengson, the folk-rock artists who created Hundred Days with playwright Sarah Gancher as a semi-autobiographical song cycle, are not actually on stage for Kokandy Productions’ sometimes joyful, often painful, but always powerful revival at Chopin Theatre. They are instead played by actors, with Emilie Modaff as Abigail and either Alec Phan or Royen Kent, depending on the night, as her husband and bandmate Shaun. (At opening night, Phan was in the role.) They are, however, supported by an outstanding five-piece band and, as directed by Lucky Stiff, they transport the audience into a relationship that is both beautiful and a bit frightening."
"..."Hundred Days" wraps up with an enthusiastic ensemble number, almost negating the self-turmoil that had been explored throughout the piece; however, I suppose that's typically how the human mind works-aware our time here is limited, but couldn't fully function while processing that fact at all times. Instead, it's mostly aware of the moment we're in and, in a way, celebrating life. Similar to the 75-minute format of the show, the audience is reminded: life is short, embrace the music!"
Picture This Post- Highly Recommended
"...Much of the story is about fear of death, and at various points, Abigail has visions of losing the love of their life. As much as Hundred Days explores the darker, heartbreaking parts of love, there are also light moments of happiness that elicit joyful laughter."