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  Neverwhere Reviews

Lifeline Theatre
Thru - Jul 18, 2010

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Lifeline Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Recommended

"...The creative team at Lifeline throws in everything from a puppet Lord Rat to a grandiose mythical beast or two — and the narrative pounds along in a very satisfying fashion. Unlike the Hollywood take on Gaiman, Lifeline inevitably creates a less intrusive environment — there is a clear visual picture of London Below in Alan Donohue's very shrewd design, but it's mostly a noir world of shadow and motion. Your own imaginations can remain alongside. Fine performances abound, including Kauzlaric's Richard and Katie McLean's spunky Door and Phil Timberlake's creepily beautiful Speaker/Islington. As Old Bailey and others, the terrific Patrick Blashill evokes the emotional core that makes Gaiman's work so distinctively compelling, while Chris Hainsworth and Christopher M. Walsh have the comedy cavern down cold."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended

"...Alan Donahue's intricate, inventive set deserves special praise for providing just enough to suggest dozens of locations over the course of the play (a London office; the British Museum; a deep, dark tunnel). Robert Kauzlaric, who also adapted, makes a terrific hero, though he and his heroine, Katie McLean--playing the mysterious woman, Door, who leads him into the lower depths--lack chemistry."
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Jack Helbig

Copley News Service- Highly Recommended

"...The Lifeline has earned a niche in Chicagoland theater for its resourceful adaptations famous books like “The Mark of Zorro” and “Around the World in 80 Days.” Those shows were impressive but “Neverwhere” raises the bar to an astonishing level in its brilliant physical staging and in the incredible versatility of its performers. Kauzlaric plays Richard Mayhew and Katie McLean plays Door. The other seven members of the ensemble play dozens of characters, from milling crowds above and below London to deliciously etched exotic personalities. The costume changes backstage must have been controlled anarchy to get everyone on stage and dressed properly on cue."

Dan Zeff

Centerstage- Highly Recommended

"...Lifeline does for fantasy what WildClaw does for horror – gives us spectacle and story so ambitious and colorful, poetic and vulgar, heroic and homely, it's like eavesdropping on your favorite author's waking dream. "Say goodbye to the world you knew" – indeed!"

C.S.E. Cooney

Time Out Chicago- Highly Recommended

"... Holmquist’s choreography of the action makes a stage smaller than most living rooms seem sprawling; the design team’s elegant representations of settings that bridge the real and fantastical are truly astounding. Kauzlaric doesn’t quite solve Gaiman’s biggest problem, the overlong denouement, but Lifeline’s production is an exhilarating glimpse into a world just out of sight."
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Kris Vire

ChicagoCritic- Highly Recommended

"...Richard must deal with countless trials on his journey to uncover the truth behind a dark conspiracy. The action is manic as it necessitates fighting the Great Beast and out witting the two assassins while overcoming one’s fears. This mayhem quest is filled with action, humor,  stellar combat and scary moments. You’d be hard pressed to find a finer tech elements or better performances than from this ensemble. The eight players – Patrick Blashill, Chris Hainsworth, Elise Kauzlaric, Robert Kuzlaric, Katie McLean, Kyra Morris, Sean Sinitski, Phil Timberlake and Christopher M. Walsh – each contributed quick costume changes and expert character portrayals giving the show a large cast feel. Terrific accents (kudos to dialect coach Eva Breneman) and fine stage combat thrilled us. Neverwhere is an adventure into the world of urban fantasy well worth experiencing. See Richard awaken the hero within. You’ll have fun along the way."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard- Somewhat Recommended

"...While, I would not call this a great adaptation, I found that the production had a little for everyone.  Comedy, romance, adventure, mystery and some fine acting.  The production is perhaps a half hour longer than it needs to be and for some audience members may be too confusing.  One must pay close attention from the start as once they are lost, they may never find their way back."

Al Bresloff

Chicago Theater Beat- Highly Recommended

"...Lifeline does its usual beautifully inventive job of bringing the written word to the stage, with just a few minor flaws. Here and there, unexplained lines leftover from the book may be puzzling to those who haven’t read it. Mikhail Fiksel‘s eerie original music fits the mood quite well, but in several places underlying music or sound-effects distract from the dialogue. A few longish monologues slow the action (and add up to a 2½-hour-long production)."

Leah A. Zeldes