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  Nice Girl at Raven Theatre

Nice Girl

Raven Theatre
6157 N. Clark St Chicago

Josephine has a dead-end job, still lives with her mother, and has settled into the uncomfortable comfort of being single at age 37. But when she's given the possibility of change, she takes tentative steps towards a new life. A play about the tragedy and joy of figuring out who you are and letting go of who you were supposed to be.

Thru - Mar 11, 2018

Box Office: 773-338-2177

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  Nice Girl Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader - Recommended

"...Perhaps it's the start of a new chapter in her life, if she's willing to turn the page—and if the audience is willing to accept a contrived second-act plot twist involving Josephine's comically coarse pal Sherry (Stella Martin). This modest little work is well acted in its Chicago premiere under Lauren Shouse's direction at Raven Theatre."
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Albert Williams

Windy City Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...The actors of Raven Theatre Company extend unconditional compassion to stock characters easily bordering on stereotype, but a production as geographically-specific as this—did I mention the accurate-to-unintelligible "Southie" dialects, or the name-checking of indigenous Massachusetts communities?—deserves better than soap long divested of its sudsy attractions."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...That’s not to say that the show, directed at Raven Theatre by Lauren Shouse, isn’t charming, or funny, or an overall enjoyable night out. It’s all of those things, too. Nice Girl follows a week or so in the life of a single, 37-year-old office worker named Josephine (the wonderful Lucy Carapetyan). The place is the Boston suburbs, the year is 1984, and her existence is a kind of Reaganite-meets-Bartleby purgatory. Having long ago lost a scholarship to Radcliffe after her father got sick and died, Josephine has settled for a job at an accounting firm and spent her entire adult life living with her slightly caustic and very hypochondriac mother, Francine (Lynne Baker)."
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Alex Huntsberger

Theatre By Numbers - Recommended

"...Director Lauren Shouse brings specificity to a show that benefits from every flourish. It feels real down to the copper jello molds mounted on the kitchen walls & hum of the microwave. However, I'd have traded any one of these perfect details to have seen actors of color on stage. If it's simpler for a story of an era, like of "Nice Girl" to embrace a historic realism, and cast only Caucasian performers, we have to start asking why. What makes this a valid choice? How does this production foster diversity on Chicago's stages?"
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Sean Margaret Wagner

Stage and Cinema - Highly Recommended

"...As always, the best, as in the most wrenching, plays are not about “win-lose” outcomes between good versus evil. They’re about “lose-lose” choices between one good opposite another — love versus loyalty, freedom fighting duty, the past against the future. That’s the passionate payoff that follows two hours of Nice Girl. It’s well worth the wait."
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Lawrence Bommer

Splash Magazine - Highly Recommended

"... The piece is beautifully constructed; every word counts. The direction feels effortless, but is in fact tautly controlled. Each personality is finely drawn and well portrayed. In particular, the mother/daughter fights were realistic gems. The set itself took me back to- shudder- my own mother’s kitchen. As I watched the knowing light rise and die in each actor’s face, as they dug the knives of their wit into each other, I felt I knew these people. The script is replete with a multitude of small details that work together to create a fully blown picture of a time, a place, and 4 lives."
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Debra Davy

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...This production is skillfully directed by Lauren Shouse on a masterful set by Lauren Nigri. Raven continues to amaze me with the use of their small stage and the sets that they create (very realistic). Noel Huntzinger's costumes are very 1984 and Rebecca Jeffords lighting is wonderful. Eric Backus handles the sound and original music, which fits the mood of the play- there is a Sinatra tune, but it is there for good reason, and John Buranosky had assembled some great props that are truly 1984."
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...It’s a nostalgic play, comfortable in its familiarity, infused with tunes the audience hums along to before, throughout, and after the performance. The story is unsurprising but the character development drives it along, though perhaps not enough to justify its two hour run time. It delivers the kind of listless realism emblematic of Raven Theatre."
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Emma Couling

Third Coast Review - Highly Recommended

"...Nice Girl by Melissa Ross is the new production at Raven Theatre. Lauren Shouse sympathetically directs this heartfelt and down-to-earth story of four people whose lives didn’t turn out as they hoped. Life’s bleakness is the underlying theme of Nice Girl, set in a middle-class Boston suburb in fall 1984."
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Nancy Bishop

Chicago On Stage - Recommended

"...Sometimes life’s problems are monumental, matters of great importance and consequence. Other times, they are small and personal. The thing is though that even the smallest problems can seem to be of great consequence to those who are living through them. It is this type of concern that faces us in Raven Theatre’s Nice Girl, the Chicago premiere of a play about a woman who is stuck in a life that is not the one she wanted to be living when she set out. It is a funny, poignant slice of life, beautifully acted and directed, that asks a simple question: is life really life if you never say “yes” to living?"
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Karen Topham

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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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