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  Linda Reviews

Steep Theatre
Thru - Sep 15, 2018

Show Information

Steep Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Highly Recommended

"...This is an excellent staging in intimate quarters - it's overwrought in the scene where Linda finally confronts her boss, who devolves too much into melodramatic villain when lousy successful men always learn to hide their true selves. But that's not enough to spoil the achingly accurate feeling of realism that pervades the rest of the show, especially in the scene where you watch Linda's self-confidence take one blow after another. Moreover, it's not just a dissection of the personal. Skinner is right to point out that when marketers push "real beauty" they are doing so to sell stuff. In this telling, the men in charge quickly figure out that the problem with a campaign aimed at making older women feel good about themselves is that the company would rather cash in on younger women too. And the only way to do so is to make them dread growing older."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Reader- Recommended

"...As usual, Steep assembles meticulous, gutsy actors, and director Robin Witt keeps them rooted in deep emotional truths, providing no shortage of compelling passages throughout the show. As Linda, Kendra Thulin finds moments so harrowing they're difficult to watch."
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Justin Hayford

Windy City Times- Somewhat Recommended

"...So what does it mean when women of all ages are doomed to failure and dissatisfaction, when men are portrayed as fantasy objects enslaved by their hormones and even conniving bitches protest the price of eternal vigilance? Steep Theatre director Robin Witt and a cast led by Kendra Thulin strive valiantly to put a feminist spin on the familiar powerful-women-behaving-badly tropes, but if it's true—as Janis Joplin lamented in "Women Is Losers"—that "men always seem to end up on top," Skinner makes an unintentional case for women ensuring their own place on the bottom."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Chicago On the Aisle- Recommended

"...Despite a rather heavy application of angst, the true face of poignancy emerges in Penelope Skinner’s “Linda,” a dramatic screed at Steep Theatre on women, beauty and the cumulative unkindness of years. Kendra Thulin reels through the title role, one moment a confident and successful marketer of beauty products, the next moment a has-been who watches the world, fashion and relevance all pass by, leaving her bereft in life’s seventh age, sans everything."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Chicago Stage Standard- Recommended

"...Skinner’s script, however, is not solely devoted to the downfall of its eponymous woman. Verging on subplot overload, she dramatizes a panoply of feminine pathologies festering under the male gaze—a gaze for which a woman’s existence and her appearance are one and the same. If Hamlet’s grandiose and purportedly “universal” question was "to be or not to be," Skinner’s women are compelled to ask of themselves, “To be seen or not to be seen?”"

Evan Hill

Around The Town Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...The beauty of our Chicago theater scene is that we have small "black box" venues all over the city. One of these amazing theaters is Steep, located just a few yards from the Berwyn Red Line stop, at 1115 West Berwyn ( just half a block east of Broadway. They are currently doing a marvelous play, written by Penelope Skinner, entitled "Linda". It is the story of an aging, award-winning executive at a beauty corporation, who is afraid that she may be becoming "invisible" in a world where youth is more important than intelligence. Or so it"
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Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theatre Review- Recommended

"...But the standout of this cast is young Caroline Phillips, as Bridget. Despite her youth, this actress creates the most affecting, powerful character in this play. She’s the sounding board upon whom Linda, Neil and Alice bounce off their feelings. She’s far more mature than the others and, as such, demands the audiences empathy and attention. Although this isn’t her first Chicago production, she’s making her debut at Steep. Hopefully audiences will be enjoying the work of this magnetic young actress in future productions. She’s the real deal."
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Colin Douglas

Third Coast Review- Recommended

"...Thulin's role dominates Skinner's play and she is outstanding as Linda. Moore also gives a fine performance as Neil, especially his impact as he tries to save his marriage. Phillips, who plays Bridget, is an experienced 18-year-old actor who clearly has a bright future. She's convincing as she laments about the trivial nature of many female roles in classic theater; her solution is to choose a male role because they get all the lines."
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Nancy Bishop

The Hawk Chicago- Recommended

"...Overall, there are many reasons to see this show: tremendous acting, great directing, and intriguing themes. But while Linda does a tremendous job of exploring some of the most relevant issues women face in the workplace today, it ultimately suffers from trying to do too much. "
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Emily Schmidt

Picture This Post- Recommended

"...You have to admire Steep Theatre for yet again choosing a script with surprising and ironic plot turns. The script for Linda— although in this writer’s view a bit long and begging for cutting room floor type edits of Linda’s many long monologues in particular— certainly has that Steep trademark of Oh! and Aha! Moments."
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Amy Munice

Rescripted- Highly Recommended

"...Not only does this production battle with women in the workplace, but the idea of perception and change. Linda's inability to address problems that might make her life look less desirable, or even Bridget's obsession with being "the one with the most lines" highlights certain pressures everyone is facing yet are simultaneously facing away from. Linda tells a passionate story of a women struggling to hold onto a world that is trying hard to forget them, but she won't go down without fighting against society's standards."
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Logan McCullom