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  Lord Of The Flies Reviews
Lord Of The Flies
Lord Of The Flies

Lord Of The Flies
Steppenwolf Theatre
Thru - Nov 15, 2013

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Steppenwolf Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Somewhat Recommended

"...But while this approach certainly had its appeal for some, it misses two crucial aspects of this book. One is that the boys change - drastically, being as they go from regular British schoolboys who find themselves stuck on an island to primal creatures clawing one another's eyes out. The crucial hows and whys of that metamorphosis mostly are missing from this production. You can see the end right at the start, when the dial is already set to nine."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times- Highly Recommended

"...Kays, artistic director of the Hypocrites, has never done finer work. Not only has she used every corner of Steppenwolf’s Upstairs space (with a raw, perilous set by Lizzie Bracken lit by J.R. Lederle). But she has orchestrated her ensemble of boys (ideally selected for looks, emotional tuning and physical daring) to stand against any veteran cast."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader- Recommended

"...And it's mostly well delivered in this stage adaptation directed by Halena Kays and targeted at young adults. Kays makes a muddle of certain crucial moments, such as one kid's hallucinatory encounter with the Lord of the Flies himself. But her use of the theater's aisles makes the violence all too immediate, and her actors are as brave as they are sharp. In particular, the core constellation of Spencer Curnutt, Ty Olwin, Dan Smerilglio, and a terrifying Rudy Galvan never lets up."
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Tony Adler

Time Out Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...Kays, the artistic director of the Hypocrites, has a remarkable knack for depicting scenes of real fear and horror without artifice. Even better, as the founding artistic director of the wonderful educational troupe Barrel of Monkeys, Kays seems incapable of talking down to young audiences. Her staging of the events on Golding's island is presented without a lick of condescension or sanctimony."
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Kris Vire

Stage and Cinema- Recommended

"...It’s an atavistic nightmare and for young actors with energy, if not anarchy to spare it’s no stretch to recreate. Kays’ twelve young performers rampage around the upstairs theater, leaping and howling to equal Mike Tutaj’s splendid sound design and vivid projections. As telescoped here, the regression happens so fast it seems predetermined. The ending is played a bit bigger and brighter than in either film version, as if to insulate the adults’ rationality from the punks’ predation. If only it were that easy…"
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Lawrence Bommer

ChicagoCritic- Recommended

"...During the 90 minute production, we witness how some boys can go wild and play to their most base instincts. We see how a contemporary flash mob or football game rivalries can elicit the group savage instincts in youths like these English boys did. That potential wildness impulse is explored vividly that hopefully the youths who see this timely production will begin to understand. They learn that such violence is not just a game as these English boys proclaim upon being rescued."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Now- Recommended

"...LORD OF THE FLIES is edgy and intense. Kays doesn't contain the action to the actual stage. Instead, she has the actors go tribal all over the place. The frightening chases take on a life-threatening aspect that doesn't always seem theatrical. These guys seem to organically escalate into a competitive madness. During one of the final scenes, I held my breath hoping Curnutt had the stamina required to survive."
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Katy Walsh

Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended

"...Ms. Kays‘ production effectively brings Golding’s emotionally devastating novel to life. Melding all her elements, The director takes Williams’ artistically written stage adaptation and superbly infuses it with the talents of a tightly-knit, carefully-selected cast and design team. She has created an outstanding theatrical experience that no audience, young or old, will likely soon forget."
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Colin Douglas