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  One Came Home at Lifeline Theatre

One Came Home

Lifeline Theatre
6912 North Glenwood Chicago

During the great passenger pigeon migration of 1871, throngs of strangers descend upon Placid, Wisconsin, bringing prosperity in their wake. But as the skies clear, tragedy strikes and Georgie Burkhardt's sister goes missing. When a body is found and the town goes into mourning, Georgie sets out to uncover the truth behind Agatha's disappearance. The journey that follows, both humorous and heartbreaking, will test the limits of her courage and the strength of her character. A powerful coming-of-age tale combines live music with historical events in a world premiere adaption based on the 2013 novel by Chicago author Amy Timberlake.

Thru - Apr 5, 2015

Price: $40

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-761-4477

Running Time: 2hrs, 15mins; one intermission

Lifeline Theatre Seating Chart

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  One Came Home Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"..."One Came Home" presents that trajectory of loss with heart and grit. Like the best young-adult stories, it's sure to resonate far beyond the target audience and hit the hearts of those wondering just how our relationships took the turns that they did, and whether we can find our way back home."
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Kerry Reid

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...The Lifeline production - under the inventive direction of Elise Kauzlaric, and with Alan Donahue's set of lacy foliage to set the mood - homes in on the choices made by the Burkhardt sisters of small-town Wisconsin. Georgie (Ashley Darger) is a feisty, stubborn girl in early adolescence who happens to be a standout marksman."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...There's something to be said for Lifeline's refusal to sugarcoat Georgie: as played by Ashley Darger, she's as obnoxious as only an adolescent who's discovered morality can be. Trouble is, there's no payoff for having to endure the little brat. Darger's performance gives no indication of growth over the course of a poorly structured, loose-ended, overlong show that never justifies its central metaphor."
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Tony Adler

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...Under Elise Kauzlaric's direction, Ashley Darger, Jeff Kurysz, Miriam Reuter and Amanda Jane Long prove as deft at projecting 19th-century adolescent exuberance as Errol McLendon, Patrick Blashill, Heather Currie and Dan Granata at conveying their elders' frontier-hardened strength. John Szymanski's acoustical string-band music, Diane D. Fairchild's delicate winter-sunshine lighting and Alan Donahue's brittle prairie vegetation create an atmosphere of pastoral enchantment. The real stars of the show, however, are the flocks of pigeons whose free flight—replicated by Julie Taymor-style wire-rod puppets—cannot help but awaken in us a nostalgia for a mythical past now forever lost."

Mary Shen Barnidge

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...If anything, creating Georgie’s initially narrow worldview makes the cast's performances reserved and distant for too long. Like the rest of the play, they come alive only when things go very wrong for Georgie, and push back against her stubborn opinions. But that’s a small flaw in a brilliant scheme. This is a piece that digs into the limited perspectives of sisters at different points in life. Georgie and Agatha loved each other very dearly, even when they fought. But each suffered from the myopia of youth, their individual pretty pictures constantly shaken when the other’s perspective nosed in. One Came Home is achingly on the mark. It tells a subtle, very accurate story about growing up that plays perfectly with the strangeness, romance, and action of its Western roots."
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Kevin Thomas

Stage and Cinema - Highly Recommended

"...Equally supple, Lifeline’s eight-member ensemble commit to these characters, inside and out. They’re super-served by Donahue’s wonderfully evocative Wisconsin winterscape, its rolling fogs subtly suggested by a spectral scrim and Diane Fairchild’s impressionistic lighting. Szymanski’s sound effects tell stories in their own right. Aly Renee Amidei’s equally earth-toned costumes could have stepped out of period mezzotints: Their instant nostalgia provides the best illustrations an author could wish. A good yarn grows into a great memory."
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Lawrence Bommer

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...While the story belongs in the western genre, it is entertaining in its own right, and has a somewhat different moral perspective. The subject matter is grim, but the cast makes One Came Home a lively experience, and the audience remained interested throughout the performance in seeing what would happen next. Though the original novel seems aimed at a middle school audience, I saw many adults enjoying the performance, which is probably why the marketers have pushed the True Grit comparisons. Buha's adaptation is well-paced, balancing action, suspense, and character development. The bottom line is One Came Home is a well told story, and a fun night out at the theatre."
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Jacob Davis

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...I thought at first that "One Came Home" was a curious choice for Lifeline Theatre's regular season. I hadn't read Amy Timberlake's coming-of-age novel won both the Newberry Medal and the Edgar Award for Best Juvenile; the operative word being juvenile. Now that I've seen Jessica Wright Buha's powerful adaptation, I'm definitely going to read the novel. I can't make a higher recommendation! I give "One Came Home" 4 Spotlights."
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Carol Moore

NewCity Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...Unfortunately, Jessica Wright Buha's adaptation of novelist Amy Timberlake's "One Came Home," directed by Elise Kauzlaric in this world premiere, falls short of the goal. Word-echoing that at first warms, particularly when traded between characters and in different situations, becomes annoying before the end of the first act. While giving dead characters the opportunity to contribute ghostly revelations can be cathartic, to show people who are not dead as ghosts is to tell a lie for which an audience may not be forgiving. The elongated road trip, with the parallel journeys of solving a mystery and coming of age, prevent the story from achieving a steady climb toward an apex. Exactly which girl was killed, wearing which dress, why, and by whom?"
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Aaron Hunt

The Fourth Walsh - Highly Recommended

"...Kauzlaric impressively paces this with muted intrigue. The relationship of the sisters is the focal point and the murder is secondary. Instead of trying to solve the mystery of who killed Agatha, we work harder to solve the mystery of why Agatha left home. The story is riveting with unexpected dark moments. It feels like "Little House on the Prairie" meets "Nancy Drew" but for adults."
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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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