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  Loving Repeating at Theater Wit

Loving Repeating

Theater Wit
1229 W Belmont Ave Chicago

LOVING REPEATING is an intimate exploration of Gertrude Stein's legacy, setting her unconventional creative passions against the backdrop of her lifelong relationship with Alice B. Toklas. From her student days in the late 19th century to the height of her artistic era in Paris as one of the 'lost generation,' LOVING REPEATING pays homage to Stein's capricious love affair with language, self-expression and her lifelong romance with Toklas.

Presented by Kokandy Productions

Thru - Aug 30, 2015

Price: $38

Show Type: Musical

Box Office: 773-975-8150

Running Time: 1hr, 15mins

  Loving Repeating Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...I've left the main reason to invest 75 minutes of your time until the end, however. That would be the music. The singing in this production is quite fine (the musical direction is by Kory Danielson and there is a four-piece orchestra in the corner) and the harmonies are especially rich, the whole being greatly enhanced by the intimacy of the staging at Theater Wit. I've long thought "Loving Repeating" to be one of Flaherty's major, overlooked compositions and this hearing only confirmed that notion. If you enjoy serious music for the theater and have not seen this rarely performed piece before, then here is your opportunity."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...Kokandy’s latest effort, and it’s a beauty — is “Loving Repeating,” a quirky, moving tour through the heart and mind of Gertrude Stein. One of the great explorers and linguistic experimenters in early 20th century modernist literature, Stein was born in Pennsylvania, but moved to Paris in 1903, became part of the city’s artistic circle that included Picasso and Hemingway, and remained there until her death in 1946."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Frank Galati and Stephen Flaherty clearly understood all that when they created their 2006 chamber musical about Stein, Loving Repeating, running now in an amiably bad revival from Kokandy Productions. The piece opens with the great lady standing behind a lectern at the University of Chicago in 1934, delivering a characteristically playful speech on the underpinnings of her oeuvre. Galati's script quotes from Stein's own discussions of her revolutionary intentions."
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Tony Adler

Windy City Times - Recommended

"..."Loving is repeating is living" declares Stein, but nothing spoken can be repeated exactly, only reaffirmed, and so 70 minutes of sweet nothings could grow tiresome without the framing device of the older Stein recalling her adventures with characteristic candor. These are illustrated by an ensemble of fresh-faced youths garbed in quaint Edwardian fashions and crystalline singing voices, dancing daintily on a stage crowded with art of the period-even the floor is decorated in Impressionist motif-accompanied by a live four-person orchestra drawing forth from their nine instruments melodies as startling in their provocative beauty as Stein could have wished."

Mary Shen Barnidge

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Allison Hendrix’s sensitive staging for Kokandy Productions is doubtless scaled down from About Face Theatre’s original, produced at MCA Stage. Yet as a story about intimacy both emotional and intellectual, the production’s intimacy contributes to its impact. Music director Kory Danielson leads a skilled four-piece band through Flaherty’s lush, variegated score, while Andrea Louise Soule’s lively choreography makes full use of the space. Giles and Goldberg, while engaging, still come across as a bit too chaste early in the show’s run. But that relationship could easily deepen after a few more repetitions."
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Kris Vire

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...Giles and Goldberg are an adorable couple, and have voices as lovely as the rest of ensemble. That they’re able to play the same people over a period of decades is a testament to their acting abilities—they don’t go for fake age, exactly, but watching them, it seem like Stein and Toklas learn to know each other very well. Another major source of the show’s beauty is scenic designer Ashley Ann Woods’s decorating the back wall of the set with the impressionist paintings Stein collected. The colorful Cezannes and Matisses, along with Cat Wilson’s lighting, maintain a vivacious spirit over the evening’s proceedings."
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Jacob Davis

Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...While this is absolutely a must-see show, it wasn’t without its flaws. The music often overpowered everything, making it hard to hear what was being sung at times, though I should mention that I was seated as close to the pit as you can get, so it’s likely other audience members didn’t have such trouble. Some actors, mayhap because they were projecting more, had louder mics, or something else, were able to pierce through and make their voices heard—Emily Goldberg (as Alice Toklas) especially—but this was an exception to the rule. The music and hair weren’t timely—though it is a musical, after all—but wow were the costumes great. Buinis looked like a clone of Stein as an older woman, and each cast member looked great in everything they wore… including cow hats and aprons. Mostly minor flaws, but all flaws with exceptions."

John Owen Glines

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Kokandy Productions, one of the newer theater companies in town just keeps rolling along with stylish productions. Often, they take productions that we have seen before and with a little “twist” bring something new to the overall picture that makes it seem new and exciting. That is one of the reasons I , for one, prefer “live theater” over film for story-telling! Each production, with a different set, director and cast, can make it all seem as if we are having a brand new experience. Such is the case with Kokandy’s latest production, “Loving Repeating”, Frank Galati’s marvelous tribute to one of his favorite people, Gertrude Stein. The words are hers, the music by Stephen Flaherty, but it is the combination of her words and Galati’s interpretation that makes this one of the finest 70 minutes of theater to come along."
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Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...The performance is staged as a smallish Broadway musical with the exception of the lyrics which are the work of an author known for her experimentation with language and repetition. This does not always lend itself to songs that are completely pleasing; but the listener must surrender in this case, I think to one of the conundrums of artistic endeavor: sometimes the writer’s need for full self-expression supersedes the reader’s need to fully understand."
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Rebecca Abisdris

The Fourth Walsh - Somewhat Recommended

"...The only song I kind of liked was the love song about a bee. It is sung with such passion by Giles and Goldberg. The ladies smolder in their old-fashioned courtship. The radiant Goldberg has a look on her face of quiet admiration. This is how I imagine Alice to be... a pillar of tender strength. Goldberg resembles a behind-every-great-woman-is-a-great-woman stance. Giles, on the other hand, delivers this all-knowing performance. She has the moxie of a literary genius. Yet, she noticeably softens around Goldberg. We feel the lust, the affection, the mating-for-life selection."
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Katy Walsh

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   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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