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  Merge at The Den Theatre


The Den Theatre
1329-1333 N. Milwaukee Chicago

In 1978, Atari was the fastest growing company in the history of the United States, an arcade manufacturer with a workplace fueled by pot smoking, jacuzzi parties and nobody wearing socks. When they have to sell themselves to Warner Bros. to stay afloat, they quickly realize that corporate cash comes with baggage, as they lose a piece of the identity that made them who they were in the first place. And what's worse... they have to start wearing socks. MERGE is the story of a small band of programmers who stand up and fight back against the very company that saved them from bankruptcy, in a battle that threatens to crash an entire industry.

Thru - Nov 13, 2016

Price: $20

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 773-697-3830

Running Time: 1hr, 45mins

  Merge Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...Despite being an enthusiastic buyer of their consoles, there was a lot about Atari I didn't know until I saw this aptly low-budget show, which is performed by a potentially capable ensemble cast and directed, with some clever ideas but not enough consideration for truth, by Andrew Hobgood. One theme that Davis teases out beautifully is that Atari's main economic problem came from consumer's resistance to updating hardware every year or two. Once people had bought a console, they expected to be able to use it for ever."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Atari's rise and fall is one of the iconic cautionary tales of the computer era. Founded in 1972, the company built the video game industry on such mesmeric amusements as Pong, Pac-Man, Asteroids, and Centipede-growing exponentially before imploding in the early 80s. Spenser Davis's new play tells the tale in formidable, often fascinating detail, from primitive antecedents through creative thefts, fateful buyouts, and clueless managers to the arrival of Nintendo in 1985."
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Tony Adler

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...The show’s best moments and performances are its calmest and quietest. Pearlman steals every single scene she’s in as the droll, sarcastic Patti, as does Omer Abbas Salem as a slimy WB exec named Manny. With the rise and fall of Atari, Merge has a great story to tell. It’s just hard to hear it sometimes over all the racket."
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Alex Huntsberger

NewCity Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...“Merge” is as much about choosing what world you want to live in as it is about the history of video gaming. In that regard, this play needs to pick what kind of a world it is in: a zany, yet dramatically grounded historical comedy or an elevated adventure where the possibilities are endless."
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Kevin Greene

  Merge Photo Gallery

   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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