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  Jane Eyre at Lifeline Theatre

Jane Eyre

Lifeline Theatre
6912 North Glenwood Chicago

After a troubled childhood, Jane Eyre searches for new purpose as a governess at Thornfield Hall. But a fragile peace gives way to turbulent passion when she meets Mr. Rochester, a man concealing a dark secret. Their unconventional relationship leads to a terrible revelation, and Jane must forge a new future amid the ashes of her ravaged dreams. As she struggles to free herself from the ghosts of her past, Jane realizes that her only hope is to find love on her own terms. A highly theatrical exploration of one woman's independent spirit in a beloved adaptation freshly updated for its first appearance on the Lifeline stage in thirteen years.

Thru - Nov 16, 2014

Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 7:30pm
Saturdays: 4:00pm & 8:00pm
Sundays: 4:00pm

Price: $40

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-761-4477

Running Time: 2hrs, 15mins

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  Jane Eyre Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...Charlotte Bronte's best-known novel, as adapted by Christina Calvit, makes its third appearance since 1991 on Lifeline's stage. But this production, directed by Dorothy Milne, marks my first visit to Calvit's version of Thornfield Hall. In Lifeline's hands, Mr. Rochester's gloomy home provides a suitably disquieting environment. While the show could afford to take bigger emotional risks, it succeeds at setting off the original story's Romantic-era notions of psychic duality through some stark but effective staging choices."
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Kerry Reid

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Dorothy Milne's expressionistic direction moves the story along with fewer expositional bits than you might expect, and while every actor here is in top form, I couldn't keep my eyes off Joshua Moaney, whose charm and physicality commanded attention in each of his multiple roles."
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Suzanne Scanlon

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...When Lifeline’s particular vision for the classic is emphasized, Jane Eyre becomes a proper literary experience: All the complexities of Jane’s life and the atmosphere of the novel are translated into sights, sounds, and emotions in front of us."
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Kevin Thomas

ShowBizChicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...Adapting classic literature is always a perilous experiment. Some classics transfer more easily to the stage while others lose something along the way. Lifeline Theatre's current offering, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, adapted by Lifeline Ensemble member Christina Calvit is one of those that, due to an intricate plot line and having actors play multiple roles is hard to follow at times. Calvit has done a fine job with the dialogue of the piece but the characters don't always come across with definition for those not familiar with the original Bronte story."

James Murray

Theatre By Numbers - Recommended

"...Can I recommend this? Absolutely. It's a beautiful, well-done show, and if it's not quite my Jane Eyre, so what? It's spooky, funny, and has some really beautiful moments. The acting is well-done, and the design is excellent. Take a trip to Thornfield; you won't regret it."
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Jackie Davies

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...Director Dorothy Milne shows her impressive ability to build mood by combining William Boles’ set, Danny Osborn’s lighting and Christopher Kriz’ music to turn the noble estate where Eyre works as a governess into a true haunted house. The home is seemingly built from the skeletal white branches of birch trees and segmented into cell-like panels that provide glimpses of the secret workings within. John Henry Roberts’ Mr. Rochester serves as the perfect master of the house—his haughty and mischievous bearing gives way to moments of deep horror and vulnerability. His nuanced performance is sorely missed when he largely disappears during the play’s second ac"
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Samantha Nelson

ChicagoCritic - Somewhat Recommended

"...In the present Lifeline production of Jane Eyre, the characters came off as unreal, almost caricatures, that became caught up with the stylized movements and revolving patterns that came off as 1960's avant-garde theatricality that played as puzzling action that did little for the story and only seemed to be the whim of the director. This sprawling epic didn't need the frantic movements and the long-wooden slab set that moved often also became a mystery element. Sometimes, in search of a fresh concept, creatives get carried away with the theatrics that renders a distraction from the story being told. That was the case here."
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Tom Williams

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Often, novels, especially Victorian ones, don’t work on stage. In prose-fiction, plot tends to be extremely complex and is conveyed mostly through narrative. In a play, dialogue dominates the story. I thought the fact that Jane Eyre has a lot of rich dialogue and a fairly straightforward plot would, if anything, complicate these problems. Who could adopt them to the stage except Bronte herself? I was pleasantly shocked. It is hard to think of a Victorian Novel that has had a richer afterlife than Jane Eyre: Sarah Gilbert and Susan Gubar used the story as a framework for a 700 page examination of 19thc women’s literature, Jean Rhys’ “prequel” Wide Sargasso Sea has become a staple of postcolonial literature, and there have been over ten major screen adaptations of the novel for either film or television. Given all this, TimeLine Theatre’s production of Christine Calvit’s play is a remarkably successful and faithful production of Bronte’s classic. Ms. Calvit captures all the dialogue and dramatic tension, and really draws out the gothic."
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Lawrence Riordan

Chicago Theatre Review - Somewhat Recommended

"...Where both Calvit and Milne are in luck, and where the production really comes into its potential, is in their Eyre. Bhatt does far more than any amount of diresome rock to show us Jane’s modern sensibility. Her voice is clear and carrying, her rejoinders. She never “languishes” but carries anger in her sorrow, and prudence in her abandonment. In one luminous scene, combining the imagination of Milne and the adaptational integrity of Calvit, Jane faces down the bullish shade of Brocklehurst and all he represents with nothing but new-found sense of self-worth, and the power of the Force (seriously; Vader would have been put to shame). In that moment Bhatt shows us a Jane more dangerous than any pyrotechnic phantom, more obstinate than any injustice, a Jane who stands by her convictions and graciously but firmly tells the world that her decisions, for good or for ill, are her’s alone. You go girl."
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Ben Kemper

The Fourth Walsh - Highly Recommended

"...The entire production is worth swooning over. I love Jane Eyre for who she was. And I love this JANE EYRE for what it is. Lifeline is always the ideal locale for curling up with a masterpiece. It’s time to fall in love with JANE EYRE for the first time or this time. It’s an original rom-com."
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Katy Walsh

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