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  Labyrinth Reviews

Broken Nose Theatre at The Den Theatre
Thru - Mar 7, 2020

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Broken Nose Theatre at The Den Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Sun Times- Recommended

"...First produced in 2016, "Labyrinth" comes from British playwright Beth Steel, and Broken Nose Theatre provides this smart semi-comedy with a tragic sensibility in its U.S. premiere. Under Spenser Davis' dynamic and fluid direction, and with a highly capable cast (many of them Broken Nose ensemble members) fully committed to the play's energetic theatricality, both the work's strengths - and its flaws - shine through."
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Steven Oxman

Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended

"...Enter Broken Nose Theatre's Labyrinth. A riveting drama—and compelling primer on how U.S. loans fucked over Latin American countries back in the 70s and 80s—the story dissects economic corruption at a subjective level. As director Spenser Davis points out in his program notes, Labyrinth is about "the people getting the deals done." It's not about taking out the economy's transmission and explaining each of the parts; it's about understanding the emotions and histories that drive people to insatiable greed and its inevitable fallout."
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KT Hawbaker

NewCity Chicago- Somewhat Recommended

"...In Steel's introduction to the play she talks about being wrapped up in the events of the Lehman Brothers downfall. It was the first time in her life that she felt "gripped" by such an event. That much is clear in this play. The circumstances are dire, the industry is corrupt and those who are in it determine the fate of the world's economy. What's unclear is why we should care about this particular protagonist."
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Amanda Finn

Chicago Theatre Review- Recommended

"...Staged with creativity and a firm hand by Spenser Davis, Beth Steel’s 2014 drama hurls the audience through the intricate world of international banking at breakneck speed. Therese Ritchie’s intimate scenic design puts theatergoers smack, dab in the middle of this story. Making excellent use of his ensemble, Davis keeps this production in continual movement, much like the high stakes financial world this play depicts. We watch in horror as John, an innocent, eager young man, is seduced by the devil that is money, drugs and power to sell his soul. That the story is true makes this nightmarish tale even more meaningful, scary and a cautionary life lesson. In addition to its entertainment value, Beth Steel’s story demonstrates how today’s world financial problems are rooted in the mistakes of the past."
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Colin Douglas

Third Coast Review- Highly Recommended

"...Broken Nose Theatre tells this story on a personal level in the U.S. premiere of Labyrinth by Beth Steel, cleverly directed by Spenser Davis, with so-essential choreography and movement direction by Davis and Ben F. Locke. Davis and Locke make the chaos of a trading room floor work like a modern ballet and swiftly move this fast-talking play from interview basics to bankruptcy in two acts."
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Nancy Bishop

The Hawk Chicago- Recommended

"...Expressing John’s descent into immorality through these mental episodes is unfortunate because the play doesn’t rely on these tropes. A dinner scene with a reporter shows a well-paced, cutting dialogue between the two that begins to place John’s character more firmly on one side of the looming debt crisis. I do understand what they were going for by emphasizing these sequences, but when taken as a complete offering, they don’t always mesh with the narrative in a satisfying way. If you can forgive certain story beats, this surreal, white collar crime thriller is well worth your time."
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Ryan Moore

Picture This Post- Recommended

"...Superbly directed, in this writer's view, to walk the line between jarring and thrilling, Labyrinth is a frightening political drama of a historical moment that heavily connects to the present"
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Lauren Katz

Rescripted- Highly Recommended

"...This production asks audiences to consider the human cost of economic tinkering, the hegemonic power of the American financial system, the difference between a scam and a hedged investment, and the divide between the so called first and third worlds. Under the skillful and energetic direction of Spencer Davis, Broken Nose Theatre successfully brings this sweeping-yet-psychological, brooding-yet-punchy, absurdly-funny-yet-tragic story to life."
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Alisa Boland