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  Monstrous Regiment at Lifeline Theatre

Monstrous Regiment

Lifeline Theatre
6912 North Glenwood Chicago

Borogravia is at war. Again. When Polly Perks' brother goes missing in action, she cuts off her hair, stuffs a sock down her breeches, and enlists, hoping to find him. Passing successfully as a young man, she soon discovers that she's not alone in protecting a secret and that nothing in the improbable war is as it seems. Scrambling to survive both the enemy and their untried officer, Polly's misfit company makes its way to the front, where it might just prove to be the least likely regiment to ever win a battle. A wickedly funny look at the absurdities of war and ambiguities of identity, brought to life by a cast of eleven actors.

Thru - Aug 3, 2014

Price: $20-$40

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-761-4477

Running Time: 2hrs, 30mins

Lifeline Theatre Seating Chart

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  Monstrous Regiment Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...If there has been a more accomplished comedic ensemble on a Chicago stage this year, I've not seen it. I could watch Turner's troll toss her imaginary hair or Hainsworth's Igor react with black-circled-but-wide-eyed wonder to shifting circumstances over and over again. Walsh brings multiple layers of anger and vulnerability to Jackrum, Matt Engle and John Ferrick provide richly detailed turns as various soldiers and despots, and Joanna Iwanicka's broken-walled set, Kevin D. Gawley's crepuscular lighting, and Christopher Kriz's witty sound design enhance the slightly steam-punkish world of this monstrously smart and funny production."
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Kerry Reid

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Monstrous Regiment looks like a satire on the flimsiness of traditional gender roles. And to a great extent, that's what it is. Still, it's also knowing enough, large enough to recognize the irony of searching for sexual equality on a battlefield. Driving home from Lifeline, I heard a scholar on the radio comment that, given the amount of time the United States has spent in a state of war since 1940, peace is the real aberration. In other words, America, Borogravia—take your pick."
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Tony Adler

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...The swift physical pace would mean nothing without verbal agility as well, but Lifeline's dream-team ensemble never misses a step, despite costumes that include a prosthetic hump for Igor and full-body granite-camo armor for Carborundum ( "You can't get blood from a stone" ) and special effects encompassing spectral visions, crossbow fire and big bangs just when you need them. The results are two and a half hours of giddy—and surprisingly wholesome—fun, even if, as the sergeant observes, "A regiment never met an entendre it couldn't double.""

Mary Shen Barnidge

Centerstage - Highly Recommended

"...I can’t recommend this show highly enough, it’s a comedy with wit and heart, sparkling performances, and Lifeline’s traditionally excellent production values."

Rory Leahy

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Monstrous Regiment’s greatest achievement is the speed with which it immerses you in its universe. The ensemble is confident in its project, and each actor changes their manner depending on who they’re speaking to—so the vampire Maledict (Michaela Petro) is never addressed as if she’s not sporting fangs, and everyone talks a little softer to the pious, unhinged Wazzer (Melissa Engle). Combined with spectacular costumes and spot-on physical comedy, it’s immediately understandable and entertaining."
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Kevin Thomas

ShowBizChicago - Recommended

"...The technical aspects of this production really stood out as a big win for Lifeline Theater. When you walk into the theater you will first see a very strange, very exciting location for this play to be set. Scenic designer Joanna Iwanicka has created a tiny piece of this magical world that honestly.. I wanted to play on. The set is very tall and steep which gives the production a very apropos sense of danger throughout. Not to mention Kevin Theis was able to use the space to perfection. The large decaying painting of the duchess was an eery look into what kind of production this is going to be. Not to mention the fantastic use of shadow by the lighting designer, Kevin D. Gawley. LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, the costuming and puppetry (masterfully done by Emily McConnell and Kitty Campbell) were pretty much the bees knees. I would recommend seeing this show based off of the troll costume alone."
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Justin Allan Kimball

Theatre By Numbers - Highly Recommended

"...Chris Hainsworth’s stage adaptation explores a war that has gone on far too long. When the male population of Borogravia has been so depleted by the ravages of battle, young women cut off their hair and put on trousers in order to serve and fight. The protagonist in this tale is Oliver-née-Polly (played by Sarah Price) who has joined up in order to find her MIA brother Paul. She is joined on her journey by a vampire (Michaela Petro in a show-stealing role), a troll (portrayed by Justine C. Turner in a manner that makes boulders seem almost cuddly), and an Igor (played by Katie McLean Hainsworth in a role that supplies much of the acerbic wit and intelligence one expects from a Pratchett piece)."
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Christopher Kidder-Mostrom

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...With spunk and spirit, director Theis turns Pratchett’s silver into Lifeline’s gold, inspiring richly textured performances from 11 wickedly sharp thespians. Their crafted accents, systemic mugging, deadpan reactions, and character-rooted quirks are perfectly timed and always on target. Pratchett’s polemics about identity issues and the waste of war never get in the way of a good story. Keep calm and carry on…"
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Lawrence Bommer

ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...Entering the Disc world via Monstrous Regiment is an engaging theatrical event that makes us laugh as it highlights the folly of war. It is funny. clever, and engaging."
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Tom Williams

The Fourth Walsh - Somewhat Recommended

"...Under the direction of Kevin Theis, the talented ensemble go over-the-top to exploit the absurdity. Robert Kauzlaric (Lt. Blouse) is outstanding in his buffoonery. Kauzlaric plays a bookish soldier turned spy. Between his affected diction and his two very animated fingers, Kauzlaric is a riot. In contrast, Michaela Petro (Maladict) exudes elegant posh as a vampire off blood and on coffee. The deadpan Petro is reserved sophistication until the java runs out. Another noteworthy performance is Justine C. Turner (Carborundum). In platform shoes and covered in rock, Turner is this slow-witted troll. Turner charms in her simpleton innocence within the fortress of her costume (designer Emily McConnell). The entire cast bring distinction to the variety of personalities represented in this band of brothers."
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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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