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  Life On Paper at Broadway Armory

Life On Paper

Broadway Armory
5917 N. Broadway Chicago

After his proof for the Riemann Hypothesis (one of the world's last great math puzzles) disastrously flames out, Mitch Bloom, a brilliant mathematician finds himself working as a consultant using complex algorithms to set the value of human lives in wrongful death cases. His knack for devaluing lives has made him the darling of the insurance companies, but what will he do when the wrongful death of a billionaire philanthropist crosses his desk, and the future of a small town hangs in the balance?

Presented by Jackalope Theatre Company

Thru - Jun 22, 2019

Stage: In the Park

Show Type: Drama

  Life On Paper Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Remarkably, director Gus Menary transforms the mechanical script into a warm, nuanced, deeply felt production. He's assembled a cast who sublimate their every emotion and intention, creating intrigue where Lin offers illustration. They even manage to make expository dialogue sound natural. The approach is particularly helpful in act two, when Lin largely abandons the dueling economist story in favor of exploring the inner lives of ancillary characters. They're the best scenes in the play, even if they feel like they're leftovers from previous drafts, and the actors plumb them exquisitely. This show is another reminder that you don't see better acting on any Chicago stage than Jackalope's."
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Justin Hayford

Theatre By Numbers - Recommended

"...If you are looking for an evening of theatre examining success and failure, "Life On Paper" fits the bill, gently unraveling individual problems until we see how our problems are always connected to, and might in fact be solved by, the lives of other people."
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Sarah Bowden

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Lin’s play enjoys interrogating perceived dichotomies: art against math, expertise against intuition, routine against spontaneity, chaos against order. In each case, Lin works through the arguments on both sides, giving and taking, until arriving conclusively at the understanding that nothing is either/or but rather all is a blend, like those wines your mom kept buying a few years ago, insisting that they were “the new hip thing.” And just like wine and moms, “Life On Paper” is a thing to be appreciated or, alternatively, called upon in a moment of need. It is a comfort, one that you might not realize you needed but one that you’ll be all the more grateful to because of its unexpected existence."
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Kevin Greene

Third Coast Review - Highly Recommended

"...The story of Life On Paper is great, and the acting fully supports it. Every cast member—Mary Williamson, Joel Ewing, Guy Wicke, Satya Jnani Chavez, and Josh Odor—does a fantastic job of portraying their characters as flawed, sympathetic people. I loved watching Ida and Mitch’s relationship evolve, from somewhat friendly competition to something a bit stronger, although I won’t go into any more detail. In particular I really loved Chavez’s performance as Maggie, who for most of the play is merely a waiter that the rest of the cast infrequently interacts with, but she ends up performing an astounding musical number, which completely surprised and impressed me."
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James Brod

Storefront Rebellion - Somewhat Recommended

"...Menary’s physical staging is a little clunkier than I’ve come to expect from Jackalope—expect lots of long, furniture-shuffling scene changes—but Ewing and Williamson so fully inhabit their all-too-relatable characters that you’ll forgive the traffic jams. A small-town story that also makes room for infinity, Life On Paper handily proves the futility of reducing lived experience to numbers on a spreadsheet."
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Kris Vire

   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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