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  N Reviews

The Greenhouse Theater Center
Thru - Nov 17, 2019

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The Greenhouse Theater Center

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader- Not Recommended

"...Unfortunately, playwright David Alex's script casts the actors as straw-men proxies for cliched social-media arguments. Eddy is cast as the obtuse mansplainer, droning on about why people shouldn't be offended, and Mrs. Page is tasked with educating him in the form of sassy Black History zingers. Too much time is wasted on constitutional law and the long-gone history of the liberal days of the Republican Party, and not enough is spent on Mrs. Page's life as a pariah in Black society."
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Sheri Flanders

Stage and Cinema- Recommended

"...N can hardly settle all the hash about its ugly title term. We know all too well that if the N word (and its equivalents against women, Jews, Hispanics and gays) ever disappeared, bigotry would not. Political correctness forgets that cosmetic changes wont work and can be dangerous distractions. But friendships like Mrs. Page and Eddy sure cant hurt."
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Lawrence Bommer

Around The Town Chicago- Recommended

"...What happens when we put two people together that have absolutely nothing in common? In N , written by David Alex and now in its World Premiere at The Greenhouse Theater Center, we meet a matronly, African-American widow, Mrs. Page ( played to perfection by Stacie Doublin). She was a political activist in her youth ( campaigning for Barry Goldwater, despite his stance on some equal rights votes) and now lives within her walls. Her son, only wanting to protect her, hires a young man, Eddy ( deftly handled by Ryan Smetana) an out of work actor ( which at one time or another is true of possibly every young actor) to handle the task. For him, this will e a better lifestyle than he is used to, but as he finds out, living with another person is not always that simple."
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Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended

"...If you need a reason other than seeing an incredibly relevant and powerful production, Ill leave you with: I am a privileged white woman, and I most certainly did not pick up on all of the subtleties and deeper meanings. This is not for any lack of skill on the part of the production, but simply because I do not have the life experience that will lead me to fully comprehend all of the emotional depth of the piece or express the entire importance of this production through my own words. So, please see it and tell me what I missed and what I misinterpreted."
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Sophie Vitello Recommended

"...Playwright David Alex shows canny skillfulness in the craftsmanship of 'N.' For example, Eddy is auditioning with lines from Oedipus concerning fate versus free will, done in a Southern dialect - foreshadowing the discussions ahead."
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Bill Esler

Third Coast Review- Highly Recommended

"...N is a fine production that takes a hard look at the morals and boundaries that many of us hold dear, and sometimes use to define ourselves. It makes you take a look inside, because Im sure most people who will see this production may think at first Well Id NEVER do that! Think about that, because Im sure if you look hard enough inside, youll find that your moral stronghold isnt as impenetrable as you might think it is. David Alex and TaRon Patton have created a play that speaks to our time, and Doublin, Hemphill, and Smetana all did incredible jobs portraying their characters as real, flawed people, with deeply held beliefs that they finally realize may not be as deeply held. So go see it, unless of course youre worried youll leave having learned something about yourself you would rather have not."
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James Brod

Chicago On Stage- Somewhat Recommended

"...While N does not work as well as it might, it would be unfair to say that Alex has struck out here. Its more a deep foul fly ball: he takes a mighty swing but just does not fully connect. In the end, I thought that this play got bogged down in political partisanship and missed its opportunity to fully explore its other issues."
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Karen Topham