Chicago Tribune - Recommended
"...Overall, the production is very solid: it could do to move faster and achieve more fluidity in places, better capturing the tension inherent in the writing. And while the set from Scott Yenner is beautifully wrought, it traps George in the same spot behind a scrim for much of the first act, leading to desirable opacity but also unnecessary physical repetition."
Chicago Sun Times - Recommended
"..."Intimate Apparel," now playing at Northlight Theatre, is a unique romantic drama that is sure to leave your heart bursting at the seams. Set in 1905, the play by Lynn Nottage follows Esther, a young, talented Black seamstress who spends her days sewing saucy lingerie to spice up the love lives of wealthy clients, yet spends her own nights alone. Like a Harlequin Romance novel come to life, the play finds every character hemmed in by their circumstances, whether it be race, religion, age, gender or status."
Daily Herald - Highly Recommended
"...Northlight Theatre's revival of "Intimate Apparel" is a gift to theatergoers, one all the more prized for being so long overdue."
Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended
"...In Tasia A. Jones's impeccable production, Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel is as beautiful as the title garments, and its characters as fragile. Set in 1905, the play follows the efforts of seamstress Esther (the perfect Mildred Marie Langford) to reconcile her desire for love and marriage with her ambition to open her own business. Whether she's communing over fine fabric with the Orthodox dry-goods salesman (Sean Fortunato, adorable as always) or persuading herself to marry the laborer she knows only by his letters, Esther is true north in the play-pure, serious, realistic with one terrible exception-as costume designer Raquel Adorno emphasizes by dressing her in white."
Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended
"...In a program note, director Tasia A. Jones likens Lynn Nottage's play "Intimate Apparel" to old photographs of ordinary people, Black people, who once lived and loved, who were needful of love, who had hopes and dreams. People who lived and died and disappeared, but whose lives mattered. I might add to that plainly spoken insight the flaws and folly of those folks, as well as their basic goodness. Such are the multifaceted, profoundly human images that register in Northlight Theatre's magnificent framing of "Intimate Apparel," as finely crafted a show as I've seen on that stage."
Let's Play Theatrical Reviews - Recommended
"...Northlight Theatre presents Intimate Apparel by two-time Pultizer Prize winner, playwright Lynn Nottage. Nottage, who wrote the libretto for M.J. on Broadway (which we saw in N.Y.), creates another inspiring play that is moving and compelling. Inspired by a photo of an unidentified Negro seamstress, Nottage created a historical portrait of Esther that centuries of black women would be the pride of her story. Nottage is joined by a professional director, actor, and theatre educator, Tasia A Jones. Jones recants that Intimate Apparel gives homage to Nottage's great-grandmother and acknowledges and honors hard-working women that otherwise lost in a pile. Jones does an excellent job directing Intimate Apparel, bringing life to Nottage's words."
Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended
"...All of us have our dreams and ambitions for which we may sacrifice time, money, and even our own self-worth to accomplish. Such is the theme behind "Intimate Apparel", a sad but very real tale about people who long for some amount of freedom from the constraints of society, yearn for income and some measure of economic success, and seek some measure of dignity and respect from others. Written by Lynn Nottage and adeptly directed by Tasia A. Jones, "Intimate Apparel" meticulously, slowly, and effectively tells an interesting story from 1905, a time when the racial and religious divide in the United States meant that African-Americans, Jews, and those of other minority groups were heavily discriminated against; it was also when women had not yet gotten the vote and were treated as second-class citizens."
WTTW - Highly Recommended
"...And then there is "Intimate Apparel," Nottage's heartbreaking 2003 work, whose initial production in Chicago many years ago has remained deeply ingrained in my memory. My admiration for the play was reawakened recently when I saw the Northlight Theatre production that will run for just one more week (through May 15). My advice is simply to catch it if you can, even if this play, deftly directed by Tasia A. Jones, is a work that thrives best in a more intimate setting than Northlight's current North Shore Center home."
Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended
"...This is one of Lynn Nottage's most popular plays, one of the most produced plays in America. The drama premiered in Baltimore in 2003, and then opened Off-Broadway the following year, starring Viola Davis in the leading role. It's even been adapted into an opera, with music by Ricky Ian Gordon. But this finely stitched dramatic production at Northlight already sings. It's heartbreaking, yet still has its lighter moments of humor. But, when all is said and done, it's Nottage's three-dimensional characters and their intertwined relationships that appear real and remain in our hearts."
Buzznews.net - Recommended
"...Director Tasia A Jones has directed a strong moving piece of theatre. The unidentified persons in the photos are brought to life. It is recommended for the beautiful acting."
Third Coast Review - Highly Recommended
"...Women in America have long demanded that society appreciate their worth and contributions beyond the confines of a household. Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel, directed by Tasia Jones, mines the history of the first wave of Black migration to New York and reveals a new definition of intimacy and sacrifice."
TotalTheater - Highly Recommended
"...Scott Penner's ivory-and-sepia-hued scenic design probably was intended to mimic the vintage photographs alleged to have inspired the author, but instead emerges as visually effacing as unbleached muslin, as does an annoyingly modern piano, though Raquel Adorno's costumes (Adorno was just named recipient of the 2022 Michael Merritt award BTW) and Jeffrey Levin's score of period melodies evoke the perfect atmosphere of bittersweet nostalgia. Overall, Northlight's long-overdue production might be missing the snap and fire of Relentless, currently playing at the Goodman, but Mildred Marie Langford's portrayal of the couturiere, whose sewing machine and ambitious determination ensures her an upwardly-mobile livelihood, is worth making the journey to the suburbs."
Splash Magazine - Highly Recommended
"...All in all, Esther knew who she was from beginning to end - a strong, confident and independent woman with skills and ambition. Through disappointments and heartache, happiness and love, Esther always has her sewing machine to rebuild her life and refashion her future, as if her sewing machine was her true match and best relationship the whole time. Intimate Apparel was a wonderful delight to see onstage and I highly recommend it. This play will change how you view your life and perspective, as well as the people around you."