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  Juno at TimeLine Theatre Company


TimeLine Theatre Company
615 W. Wellington Ave Chicago

Juno is a musical based on the 1924 classic Irish play Juno and the Paycock by Sean O'Casey. Originally produced on Broadway in 1959, Juno has never been produced in Chicago, until now. This epic story is a humorous and heartbreaking chronicle of the Boyle family, a destitute household struggling under the strain of the Irish Civil War in 1922. Juno Boyle, the fearless matriarch, holds her family together in the face of war, betrayal, and her husband Jack's drinking problem. When the family learns of an inheritance from a distant relative, it seems that all their problems will be solved. But as they fight to rise above Dublin's political and social unrest, they must face the tragic truth of their lives. TimeLine is pleased to introduce Chicago to this tale of survival, told through honest and powerful anthems such as "I Wish It So," "We're Alive" and "One Kind Word."

Thru - Jul 27, 2014

Price: $35-$48

Show Type: Musical

Box Office: 773-281-8463

Running Time: 2hrs, 20mins; one intermission

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  Juno Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...There is nothing concert-style about Nick Bowling's exceptionally ambitious and inventive staging, which attempts to immerse its audience fully within the milieu of working-class Dublin. John Culbert's setting not only re-creates one of the pubs frequented by Boyle (wherein the small orchestra plays, off to the side), but pushes out the walls of Juno's carefully kept home to the perimeters of the entire space, making you feel like you are drinking tea in her kitchen, or peeking inside the little private area of her beautiful, ambitious and stymied daughter, Mary (Emily Glick), a girl who tries to make her escape with a dodgy, England-loving character, Charlie Bentham (Peter Oyloe)."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...Director Nick Bowling (the master hand behind “The History Boys,” “Fiorello!” and “The Normal Heart” at TimeLine) has collaborated with set designer John Culbert to transform the theater into a fully environmental space. Faded green floral wallpaper covers every wall, a centrally placed wood stove and sink forms the core of the Boyle family’s tenement home, and a section of the lobby becomes the pub where “Captain” Jack Boyle (Ron Rains in a breakout turn of great panache) drinks away the little money his family has with his opportunistic pal, “Joxer” Daly (deft work by James Houton). A five-piece band is part of the picture."
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Hedy Weiss

The Wall Street Journal - Recommended

"...I doubt you'll get another chance to see "Juno" onstage anytime soon, so if you're at all interested in the history of the American musical, seize this opportunity while you can."
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Terry Teachout

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...The tragic outcome of all this is painfully predictable, even if you don't know O'Casey's original play. Watching the story unfold, I had the sense of the show setting up ducks in order to shoot them down. Jack goes on a spending spree—and we know the money will never arrive. Johnny is marked for retribution by the IRA; you don't need a Gerry Adams to tell you what's to come of that. Mary gives herself to Charlie, and we know he'll end up abandoning her; the only uncertainty is how her parents will respond to the inevitable crisis. But that answer comes in a flurry of rushed activity in a final scene that resolves the plot in a hurry without providing the audience with emotional catharsis."
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Albert Williams

Centerstage - Somewhat Recommended

"...Unfortunately, the book by Joseph Stein takes O'Casey's masterpiece and reduces its' characters into mere caricatures. Several key plot points and dramatic movements are expressed in stilted, general dialogue when you want to be experiencing them through a song. As for the score by Marc Blitzstein, most of the music is declamatory or superfluous and does little to advance the story. Though there were a few compelling moments. Juno's cry of pain ("Where?") is very heartwrenching. A duet between Juno and her husband, ("Old Sayin's") reveals the love and lightheartedness in their relationship. A quartet of townswomen trying to best one another with their misery, ("Poor Thing"), is very effective and gives the female ensemble a nice moment to shine. But most of the time, I found myself fighting to be involved with the music instead of being carried away by it."

Will Cameron

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...Musical theater aficionados won’t want to pass up the chance to see the show on its feet, lest we go another five and a half decades before we get another. Bowling’s production is marked by fine acting, and his alley staging makes smart use of space, though it’s a bit too open to convey the claustrophobic sense of families piled on top of one another in these two-room tenements. It’s doubtful that Blitzstein’s score could sound better than in this intimate arrangement, with music direction by Doug Peck and Elizabeth Doran and some rich voices, not least Marya Grandy’s as long-suffering matriarch Juno Boyle and Emily Glick as her daughter, Mary."
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Kris Vire

ShowBizChicago - Recommended

"...Book issues aside, Juno is quite a feast for the eyes and ears and Timeline certainly has given this rare musical an emotional production that will stay will you for days and weeks to come."
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Michael J. Roberts

Chicago On the Aisle - Not Recommended

"...Despite occasional efforts to revive it, “Juno” has never captured the public’s imagination, and TimeLine Theatre’s current revival effectively demonstrates why. It isn’t a very good show; specifically, it suffers from a double whammy of unremarkable music and desperately inept versification."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...Though ultimately a determined downer replete with now-sturdy stereotypes, Juno somehow succeeds as a communal chronicle. Carried off with sheer showbiz energy, it exuberantly confirms O’Casey’s tested faith in the resilience and spunk of his self-sacrificing homeland."
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Lawrence Bommer

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...This heartfelt musical, Juno, depicts the Irish foibles through an artistically theatrical blend of a powerful play, Juno and the Paycock with the genius of Joesph Stein and Marc Blitzstein that conveys the pain and laughter, with tragedy thrown in, to truthfully capture the essence of the poor Irish. Juno is a likable show that will grab you and keep you living with the Boyle's until the end. Your visit to Dublin in 1922 will leave moved. Kudos to Nick Bowling for championing this beautiful musical. Don't miss this show."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...The foundation of this production is the strong actors that were hired to play the roles. The Irish dialects were quite consistent and real. The show opens with a tragedy and the entire company mourns in the anthem “We’re Alive”. The strong ensemble all had beautiful trained voices and the blend and emotion in the song was riveting. The title role of Juno is played by Marya Grandy. She embodies the struggling center of the household with a strong portrayal of a woman trying to make ends meet as her family grows apart and her husband drinks away their small income. Her rendition of “Song of the Ma” is a telling story of the woman’s full time job as mother, cook, maid and confidant. It really shows Ms. Grandy’s talent as a story teller."

John Boss

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Anyone familiar with Timeline Theatre Company knows of their dedication to bringing history to their stage, serving as a teaching aid for our students and for many of their parents, as well. While the classroom is the learning place, the theater transforms what is on the written page to something happening right before our eyes, making it far more real to us than what we read. Timeline’s newest production is in fact a Chicago premiere of a musical version of “Juno”, based on the play, “Juno and the Paycock” by Sean O’Casey. As you might guess from te original, this is an Irish themed story that takes place in Ireland  during the Irish Civil War of 1922. This version has a book by Joseph Stein with music and lyrics by Marc Blitzstein and takes us back to a time when the country was at war and very poor. The people had to deal with the war, politics and civil unrest."
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Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theatre Review - Recommended

"...The musical is very much a typical Irish juxtaposition of pain and sorrow tempered with a bit of humor but, like life at times, its dramatic ups and downs leave the audience on a sad note. One hopes for a happy ending, or at least for a glimmer of hope for Juno and Mary, but it seems unlikely. Given their circumstances at the end of the musical and the political climate that permeates all things Irish in 1922, it's not very promising that mother and daughter will find the happiness they deserve. Still, this musical is definitely worth a visit, if only for its fine talent, its historical significance and the beauty of Blitzstein's score."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Recommended

"...Artistic director P. J. Powers has wanted to stage “Juno” for years. Nick Bowling, the show's director, has orchestrated a staging that certainly is no embarrassment, but the revival remains unnecessary. The ensemble possesses the acting chops to present a first rate “Juno and the Paycock” and the heated pure O’Casey scenes in the second act offer tantalizing glimpses of what the viewer is missing. There is much to be gained by watching Rains nail Jack Boyle, but his mastery could send the spectator into the night wondering what what might have been."

Dan Zeff

The Fourth Walsh - Recommended

"...What works best in this show is the talented ensemble.  Under Bowling’s direction, they form a strong and authentic community.   The intermittent playfulness lives next to the sobering reality.  The first act ends with an uplifting “On a Day like This.”  Choreographer Katie Spellman creates an Irish flash mob.  The jigging and twirling take over the street. It’s good craic.  Later, Spellman creates a poignant dream sequence for Johnny (performed by Johnny Stein).  Spellman blends marching and ballet in this haunting reflection.  Johnny Stein, also serving as dance captain, expertly leads the spectacle with one hand tied behind his back. Scarves are used to disguise the enemy verses neighbor in this unforgettable imagery."
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Katy Walsh

  Juno 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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