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  Mother Of The Maid Reviews
Mother Of The Maid
Northlight Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Somewhat Recommended

"...Despite its historical setting, the piece actually needs less of an arched and isolationist style and more normalcy; we can buy that what was normal then is different from what is normal now. But you have to feel the pulse of a connected family, struggling not just against each other but the church and the other organs of the establishment. (Ricardo Gutierrez is Father Gilbert and Penelope Walker is Lady of the Court.)"
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times- Recommended

"...Grace Smith’s scrappy Joan credibly veers between absolute confidence and equally intense neediness. Joan’s righteous arrogance might be divinely inspired, but when she’s captured by the English and forced to face the fire, all she wants is her mother. When the flames start crackling, you can almost feel her heart rate skyrocket. Despite her relatability, Joan doesn’t have the white-hot charisma of someone who you can imagine inspiring hundreds of men to follow her into battle while also reversing more than a millennia of legally and culturally enforced gender roles. She’d make a great Mathlete Club president, but defies belief as an iconic savior of France from the 100 Years War."
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Catey Sullivan

Daily Herald- Recommended

"...Anderson's 2018 play, directed briskly and unobtrusively by Northlight artistic director BJ Jones, offers a different perspective on Saint Joan. By telling the story from Isabelle's point-of-view, "Mother of the Maid" highlights not only the conflicts that divide mothers and daughters, but also the bonds that unite them, which the play's penultimate moments make heart-rendingly clear."
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Barbara Vitello

Chicago Reader- Somewhat Recommended

"...Fry and Smith have a scene of great tenderness and sorrow before Joan's death that suggests the emotional depths Anderson could have reached if she'd spent more time really investing in the mother-daughter connection, rather than using it as a clothesline for airing out a story that's been told many times before."
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Kerry Reid

Splash Magazine- Somewhat Recommended

"...This is a historically based imagining of the story of Joan of Arc’s mother, a beleaguered peasant in rural France, who struggles to understand Joan’s bewildering visions, tumultuous plunge into fame and war, and predictable denunciation and inevitable death at the stake."
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Debra Davy

Let's Play at ChicagoNow- Recommended

"...Director BJ Jones is in his 22nd season as Artistic Director of Northlight; he does an excellent job bringing the story of the mother and her feelings about her only daughter being considered the maid; perceived savior of France. Casting Kate Fry in any role is a plus, and she excels as a humble mother, living a meager existence which is just trying to provide for her children."
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Rick and Brenda McCain

Around The Town Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...Northlight Theater has always been one where accuracy and detail are very important to each production. Each actor does their role as if they were experiencing it for the first time. Yes, we see the ply as if we were there, at that time, as the “fly on the wall” we ll wish we coud be rom time t time. If you are one who truly loves history, you MUST see this! If you one who loves a good piece of historical theater, you MUST see this. If you are like me and LOVE watching Kate Fry take the stage, you MUST see this!"
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago- Highly Recommended

"..."Mother of the Maid" is the story behind the legend: the girl behind the saint, the mother behind the maid. What Isabelle Arc ultimately teaches the audience is that when it comes to raising children all you can do is support them and hold them when they're suffering. Isabelle wanted to take all of the hardships and pain for her daughters but Joan had to experience those things for herself. Isabelle's rage over the thoughts and prayers of those in power echos what many parents feel today. Isabelle advocated where she could for her daughter, stayed strong for her in the face of unbearable loss, and learned how to see the world through her eyes. If that isn't an outstanding example of modern parenting, I don't know what is."
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Hayley Osborn

Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended

"...As always at Northlight, the cast for this production is a glorious amalgamation of talent and truthfulness. The transcendent Kate Fry, who starred here in “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” and “Outside Mullingar,” is perfectly cast as Isabelle. The actress plays this woman as an average woman—a mother, a lower class farmer’s wife, who spends each day cleaning, cooking meals and spinning wool into yarn."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Theater Reviews- Somewhat Recommended

"...“Mother of the Maid” is not helped by the playwright’s use of mundane modern dialogue. Joan and Isabelle often talk like two women in a blue collar home in New Jersey. The gravitas and eloquence that could elevate the story is lacking, until Fry grabs the play by the scruff of its dramatic neck and carries it home in the final scenes leading to Joan’s agonizing destruction."
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Dan Zeff

Chicago Theater and Arts- Somewhat Recommended

"...However, the work on stage at Northlight has contrived dialogue infused with current language trends and moves from one stilted scene to another."
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Jodie Jacobs

Chicago On Stage- Highly Recommended

"...Anderson does an amazing job of humanizing a myth – beginning with the expected conflict between teen and parent. But if this is an unusual teen, it is also a story of a unique parent – able to accept what would at first seem impossible: her child’s mystical experience with visions of St. Catherine."
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Karen Topham