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  If I Forget at Victory Gardens Theater - Biograph

If I Forget

Victory Gardens Theater - Biograph
2433 N. Lincoln Ave Chicago

In the final months before 9/11, liberal Jewish studies professor Michael Fischer has reunited with his two sisters to celebrate their father's 75th birthday. Each deeply invested in their own version of family history, the siblings clash over everything from Michael's controversial scholarly work to the mounting pressures of caring for an ailing parent. As destructive secrets and long-held resentments bubble to the surface, the three negotiate-with biting humor and razor-sharp insight-how much of the past they're willing to sacrifice for a chance at a new beginning. If I Forget tells a powerful tale of a family and a culture at odds with itself.

Thru - Jul 7, 2019

Tuesdays: 7:30pm
Wednesdays: 7:30pm
Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 7:30pm
Saturdays: 3:00pm & 7:30pm
Sundays: 3:00pm

Price: $27 - $60

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-871-3000

Victory Gardens Theater - Biograph Seating Chart

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  If I Forget Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...This is an overstuffed piece, inarguably, and you might resist some contrivances and coincidences. But it’s very smart writing and there’s an intensity and human vulnerability to the storytelling that generates so much vicarious interest that you’ll likely forgive all of that. And if you go out afterwards, you’ll have plenty to talk about."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...Steven Levenson’s 2017 play seems to share some DNA with several other sprawling family dramas of the stage. Like Tracy Letts’ “August: Osage County,” “If I Forget” reunites several generations of a clan following a parent’s death. The bilevel set might recall Stephen Karam’s “The Humans,” which similarly depicts the stress of caring for elders when they become infirm. And as in Jon Robin Baitz’s “Other Desert Cities,” Levenson’s plot involves one family member’s plans to publish a book that would scandalize their relatives."
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Kris Vire

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Devon De Mayo's well-cast staging and Levenson's script both keep us on our toes as the arguments ricochet and the Fischer family members unwind tightly coiled fears about declining economic security, emotionally fragile children, and their own mortality. A few moments ring false, but Levenson makes his characters more than political mouthpieces, and the result is a complex and emotionally rich portrait of members of a family trying to hang on to themselves in a darkening world."
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Kerry Reid

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...The ingredients of Steven Levenson’s brutally honest play “If I Forget” are the stuff of human frailty: hubris, folly, hypocrisy, naïveté, denial. All compacted into one dysfunctional family, and sharply etched in a riveting production at Victory Gardens."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Stage and Cinema - Highly Recommended

"...Sometimes, given the right writing, a seemingly small struggle can defy and define supposedly close kinfolk — and even stamp a society: The future of a storefront in a changing neighborhood, owned by one family since 1947, triggers a searing and complex conflict in If I Forget."
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Lawrence Bommer

Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Recommended

"...De Mayo does a great job opening up the lives of each family member so the audience could identify with each character while connecting the storyline to how each family member felt about a pivotal decision needed to care for their ailing father. Michael's, character of being a secular Jewish-American whose incendiary views written in his book about the Holocaust and how Jews used it as a tool to get sympathy rather than genuinely understand their Jewish identity."
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Rick and Brenda McCain

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Sharply directed by Devon de Mayo, this is a story, or might I say “stories” that are all over the map and I am sure that many audience members, if they look back into their lives, will see their own family members on the stage. While this is a “Jewish” family, it could be the same with other groups. Being Jewish myself, I associate with a great deal that Levenson presents to us. The building that housed the family business is worth far more in a world of change than might be expected and in reality, would resolve all of the financial problems of the Fisher family. It could offer them a new beginning, but at what cost?"
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...When it comes to history, there is a price for forgetting and for remembering, as illustrated in “If I Forget,” the latest from Victory Gardens. Focusing on three Jewish siblings who come together to celebrate their elderly father’s birthday, this complex and funny story examines the meaning of heritage, legacy and family. Although set in the 2000s, in the growing shadow of another Bush presidency, the painful loss by Gore amplified by “hanging chads,” we find ourselves in familiar, contemporary, and terrifying territory."
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Sheri Flanders

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...Although these character argue, berate each other and seem to constantly be at odds, Steven Levenson has painted a realistic portrait of a realistic Jewish American family trying cope with their own personal and political problems in an ever-changing world. Together, as a strong family unit, they strive to meet and deal with a number of challenging situations and ride out the storm in a united front. Like most families, in spite of seeming to always be at odds with each other, in the end they're united in the things that are most important: remembering each other."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Highly Recommended

"..."If I Forget" is a play of such insight, intelligence, and substance that it's a shame the production is scheduled to run only until July 7, only three weeks after its opening night. Surely an audience exists that can sustain a longer run for a drama this relevant and this entertaining."
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Dan Zeff

Third Coast Review - Highly Recommended

"...The cast of If I Forget does a stirring job with this wealth of material and De Mayo’s direction makes the most of their talent. Cantor, Shapiro and Ledo are particularly strong as the three siblings and Kupferer proves he is a Chicago stalwart. Andrew Boyce’s split-level scenic design makes transitions between scenes work smoothly. Lighting is by Heather Sparling and sound by Kevin O’Donnell. Izumi Inaba handles costume design."
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Nancy Bishop

Chicago On Stage - Highly Recommended

"...If I Forget is one of the best plays I have seen recently. I would highly recommend this show to anyone who has a family which is, by default, all of us. I challenge you to reflect on the story, find the messages that resonate with you and appreciate these shared experiences of being human."
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Karen Topham

PicksInSix - Highly Recommended

"...Intensely familiar themes roar through Steven Levenson’s gripping 2017 play, “If I Forget,” which opened Friday in its Chicago premiere at Victory Gardens Theater. Levenson, the Tony Award-winning writer of “Dear Evan Hansen,” has breathed life into a stark family drama that examines the enormous personal and psychological challenges of aging and memory, grief and survivor’s syndrome, and coping with siblings and in-laws whose actions and disparate points of view—political and otherwise—cause irreparable harm."
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Ed Tracy

Picture This Post - Highly Recommended

"...IF I FORGET is a show that explores conflicts that perhaps a broad number of families might face as well as ones that are particular to those in the Jewish community. If you’re interested in shows exploring cultures and family dramas with lots of explosive emotions, this show would be a great fit for you."
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Alexis Bugajski

  If I Forget 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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