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  I'm Gonna Pray For You So Hard at The Den Theatre

I'm Gonna Pray For You So Hard

The Den Theatre
1329-1333 N. Milwaukee Chicago

Ella is a precocious and fiercely competitive actress with a desperate need to make her father David, a famous playwright, proud. Over the course of a boozy, drug-fueled evening, Ella and David pass the time digging into family history, artistic passion and unspoken fears as they wait for the reviews, but what is unearthed can't simply be reburied. This daring play pulls the audience into the middle of a deeply complicated relationship, exploring how we build and break idealized versions of our loved ones.

Presented by First Floor Theater

Thru - May 18, 2019



Price: $20-$25

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-697-3830

www.firstfloortheater.com/



  I'm Gonna Pray For You So Hard Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Fink turns in one of those performances that diagnoses the lifestyle it portrays. Her chardonnay tirades are a critique of chardonnay and of tirades. By the end of the show, Kidwell hasn't so much redeemed himself as he has participated in a reversal of fortune; Fink musters a pigheadedness we had failed to see at first, and it looks in an uncanny way like David's own mean self. In its study of how people can become the thing they hate most, this play is serious business indeed. It's also a wild-ass time and not to be missed."
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Max Maller


Chicago Theatre Review - Somewhat Recommended

"...As I said, the acting, especially in the second half, was very good. My problem remains that, by the end of the show, I was still not sufficiently invested in the story to care if Ella is turning into her father. The acting, while excellent, was not enough to overcome the mix of a first act that felt stuck in first gear and the constant reminder that I was in a Theater watching Theater about Theater."
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Kevin Curran


Third Coast Review - Somewhat Recommended

"...It’s a father-daughter story, but don’t get the idea it’s a sweet family journey. David (roaringly played by Tim Kidwell) spends the first hour of this 90-minute play bloviating about his career as an award-winning playwright and berating his actor-daughter about her failures. There are a lot of funny jibes at theater critics (which we probably enjoyed more than most audience members) and a particular aversion to our practice of noting an actor’s presence with nothing more than a parenthetical mention. As in—his daughter Ella (Amanda Caryl Fink) was also on stage. Copious amounts of wine and a little weed and cocaine fuel the dialogue. Ella mostly responds, “Yes, Daddy” or “I know, Daddy.”"
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Nancy Bishop


Storefront Rebellion - Somewhat Recommended

"...But while Feiffer imbues David and Ella with traits, she doesn’t give them much to do. David’s toxic blend of narcissism and insecurity poisons his daughter, yes. Viewing fame as your birthright—or having a parent tell you it is—can be crippling. But these don’t feel like new discoveries, and even at 90 minutes Feiffer’s insidery script can feel repetitive, and, frankly, exhausting in its relentless negativity. For all of Fink and Kidwell’s hard emotional work onstage, I didn’t have much of a takeaway apart from—well, like Ms. Grande said: “People are so lost.”"
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Kris Vire


Chicago On Stage - Somewhat Recommended

"...I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard is very well-acted and directed and wants to make a provocative statement about generational relationships, but its major problem is that it tries too hard. Feiffer has crafted a play that calls on Kidwell to do a lot of ranting and raving but doesn’t really create any dramatic tension until halfway through the coda, when David and Ella have one final scene together. Here the play shows what it might have been if its playwright had allowed the characters more real interaction and conversation instead of writing in monologues."
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Karen Topham


Picture This Post - Recommended

"...Written by Halley Feiffer, I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard follows Ella (Amanda Caryl Fink), an actress who just opened a play Off Broadway. David (Tim Kidwell), her father and a famous playwright, keeps her company as she waits for the reviews. The duo partakes in a night of drinking and drugs to pass the time, and as their inhibitions come down, truths rise to the surface. We soon discover that this is a complicated relationship with a long history of pain, and a daughter who wants nothing more than to make her father proud. Full of heartbreak and tension, Feiffer’s play offers a dark and brutally honest window into the impact that parents can have on their children, and what we may or may not intend to pass onto the next generation."
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Lauren Katz


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