Listen to "Talk Theatre In Chicago" for an interview with playwright Claudia Allen about the process of adapting Stuart Dybek's novel, "I Sailed With Magellan", for the Victory Gardens stage. Stream or Download MP3 ">
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  I Sailed With Magellan at Victory Gardens Theater - Biograph

I Sailed With Magellan

Victory Gardens Theater - Biograph
2433 N. Lincoln Ave Chicago

Ensemble member Claudia Allen, a chronicler of the day to day intimacies of the small-town Midwest landscape, turns her skilled hand to Stuart Dybekís characters from the stark urban landscapes of Chicago; where the daily experiences of the neighborhood residents come to life.

Listen to "Talk Theatre In Chicago" for an interview with playwright Claudia Allen about the process of adapting Stuart Dybek's novel, "I Sailed With Magellan", for the Victory Gardens stage. Stream or Download MP3

Thru - Jul 15, 2007



Price: $20-$45

Show Type: Drama

Running Time: 2hrs 15mins; one intermission

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  I Sailed With Magellan Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...Victory Gardens artistic director Dennis Zacek had the sense to hire playwright Claudia Allen to do the adaptation. Allen loves sentimental small-town stories and writes accessible comedy. But some of her solo plays have lacked narrative complexity. Here, Dybek's source material gives Allen both the frame she needs and a touch of the sour to leaven her proclivities for the sweet. In return, Allen reigns in Dybek's tendency to go off on whimsical tangents, centering her piece on a core family, and rendering the whole thing as clear, unpretentious theater."

Chris Jones


Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...Mike Tutaj's richly evocative projections and Jeff Bauer's lean set neatly showcase the pluses of Victory Gardens' new home. And though less poetic than Dybek's book, this "Magellan" easily suggests how the raw material for a lifetime of writing is indelibly etched in the experiences of youth and adolescence."
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Hedy Weiss


SouthtownStar - Recommended

"...It is a poignant coming-of-age play that has many heartfelt scenes, but also has many funny moments, beautifully captured by Sandy Shinner's impeccable direction."
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Betty Mohr


Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Allen's script is remarkably sure-handed and often riotously funny, providing an elegy for a working-class, pre-Starbucks cityscape (well reflected by Jeff Bauer's clever multilevel set). Dispensing with narration, the episodic script cuts back and forth between the 1950s and '60s in Little Village as young Perry Katzek grows up with a penny-pinching father (played to perfection by Marc Grapey) and a sad-eyed wastrel musician uncle (an affecting Lance Baker) damaged by the Korean war."

Kerry Reid


Windy City Times - Recommended

"...Absorbing this sprawling collage of richly-detailed images in one sitting is no easy task, especially when its 50 or more roles are played by an ensemble of only nine actors, making for moments on opening night lost to necessary reorientation. But from the melange of affectionate and embittered memories, a number of linear narratives surface to etch themselves indelibly into our consciousness."
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Mary Shen Barnidge


Chicago Free Press - Somewhat Recommended

"...Victory Gardens has fun with its new staging capabilities and Jeff Bauerís innovative set, combined with Mike Tutajís projection design, and Andre Pluessís sound design all help establish a strong sense location and era. Yet simply opening a window into another period isnít enough. It would help if what we saw looking in had more heft and heart."
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Jenn Q. Goddu


EpochTimes - Somewhat Recommended

"...While there are some wonderful characters in this play (many of the actors play several roles), I found the story lacking in a true story and the scenes very disjointed. Flashbacks seldom work in live theater and in this case we go back and forth so often it is hard to keep with the action."

Al Bresloff


Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...Writing about writing is always a tough sell (Magellanís central concern is a young scribe coming of age in a working-class household), and that proves true here as well. But in demonstrating how an environment shapes a writer, this show is all aces."
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Christopher Piatt


ChicagoCritic - Somewhat Recommended

"...Claudia Allen and director Sandy Shinner have aptly put a face on Dybekís novel. The cast offers excellent performances. Lane Baker, Marc Grapey and Bubba Weiler with Justin Cholewa (as teen Perry) anchor the fine ensemble. I only wish the story was more concise and dramatically structured."
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Tom Williams


   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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