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  Oslo Reviews
Oslo
Oslo

Oslo
TimeLine Theatre Company at Broadway Playhouse
Thru - Oct 20, 2019

Show Information


TimeLine Theatre Company at Broadway Playhouse

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Highly Recommended

"...Director Nick Bowling’s production, staged at the Broadway Playhouse, is an ambitious leap for TimeLine Theatre, a mid-sized Chicago company that has struck a new deal with Broadway in Chicago so that subscribers who get tickets for touring musicals also get this local “Oslo" as part of their package. Several hundred people were present Tuesday night who likely had never seen a TimeLine show before."
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Chris Jones



Daily Herald- Highly Recommended

"...Yet Rogers' play, in an invigorating TimeLine Theatre revival directed by Nick Bowling, ends with an expression of optimism so genuine as to convince even a cynic that peace is indeed possible."
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Barbara Vitello



Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended

"...The great strength of Nick Bowling's smart production for TimeLine (presented in association with Broadway in Chicago) is not just how it keeps the sometimes-complicated narrative clear, though that's no small feat. It's how, by showing us the full range of emotions felt by these complex individuals, all of whom are invested in their people's survival as well as their own desire for a bit of history making, we see the wisdom of Terje's approach. There's not a weak link in the 13-member cast. The saddest part is realizing how quickly the advances of the Oslo accords receded following fresh outbreaks of violence."
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Kerry Reid



Windy City Times- Highly Recommended

"...With such a great script in hand, director Nick Bowling masterfully brings it to life with a sterling 13-member cast and great production team. Though Oslo runs three hours with intermission, the time just flies by thanks to everyone working at the top of their game."
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Scott C. Morgan



Chicago On the Aisle- Somewhat Recommended

"...One might describe J.T. Rogers’ “Oslo” as a historical feel-good play, the historical happy outcome of which didn’t last very long. It’s a process drama that depicts the secret (verbal) slug-out in 1993 between representatives of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in a valiant effort to bring peace to the Middle East. The production created by TimeLine Theatre and co-produced by Broadway in Chicago is tightly wound and well acted, but it cannot escape the play’s strait-jacketed narrative or rise above the fact that none of this feels especially compelling a quarter-century on."
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Lawrence B. Johnson



Stage and Cinema- Highly Recommended

"...In Oslo psychology plays as big a role here as politics. That's where director Nick Bowling, astutely shaping over a dozen of Chicago's finest thespians, does wonders: He drives home the bargainers' risk-taking to escape the past, their discoveries to embrace the future, and the humor that leavens the load. A dramatic detonator, Bowling is superb at triggering the taut truths in Rogers' multiple showdowns. The actors' timing proves just as ass-kickingly kinetic as the actual mediation was a quarter-century ago."
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Lawrence Bommer



Let's Play at ChicagoNow- Highly Recommended

"...Oslo is a story about the unlikely friendships, quiet heroics, and sheer determination that pushed two foes to reach something neither thought truly possible-peace. It's also a story where two people, (Mona and Terje) outside of the conflict between Israel and the PLO decision to leap into a dangerous situation which could have been disastrous for Norway if discovered or failed; just because they believe humanity and realizes" it's not about you!" Bravo! Gjorder en fantastisk job!"
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Rick and Brenda McCain



Around The Town Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...The story told in “Oslo” is that back story to a very special event that took place in 1993. On that occasion, the prime minister of Israel and the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization shook hands on the White House Lawn. It was indeed a very special day, but how did this come to be? There had to be a back story to such an event taking place. “Oslo” tells that story!"
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Alan Bresloff



NewCity Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...The play, produced by TimeLine Theatre Company and Broadway In Chicago, arrives in Chicago in a practically seamless production, navigating a thirteen-actor ensemble through a cavalcade of scenes: mostly people talking in rooms or talking over the phone or talking outside in the snow. There’s a lot of talking. But the good kind! The kind that reminds you “Yes, this is a play, and plays are about people talking, and the talking is engaging and good.” “Oslo” navigates within the confines of what we have traditionally been told is a play’s function to exceedingly excellent results. What it lacks in boundary-breaking format, it makes up for in detailed performances, sharp writing and expert craftsmanship."
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Ben Kaye



WTTW- Highly Recommended

"...Rogers’ chronicle of the Oslo meetings is by no means a documentary, but it is at once brainy, full of life and infused with a good deal of poetic license. And director Nick Bowling has superbly negotiated the “process” every step of the way (with help from dialect designer Eva Breneman, Jeffrey D. Kmiec’s set and Mike Tutaj’s projections). The sharply etched three-hour show moves like the wind."
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Hedy Weiss



Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended

"...This captivating play speeds by, indulging in all sorts of twists and turns, huge setbacks and tiny victories and lots of great, well-defined, characterizations. The fact that each of these people are real makes the production that much more interesting. Arguments rage on and differences are exposed. But, in the end, trust and confidences are shared with the result being a moment in time that has been lovingly imagined through the magic of the theatre."
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Colin Douglas



Chicagoland Theater Reviews- Highly Recommended

"...The melancholy fact that the Oslo peace agreement didn’t last does not detract from the portrayal of the bargaining process that Rogers unfolds with such drama and intelligence. This is a literate meaningful play that does great credit to the TimeLine company. Hopefully, offering it at the high end Broadway Playhouse will broaden the organization’s audience base. It certainly burnishes the TimeLine reputation for staging absorbing, relevant, accessible theater."
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Dan Zeff



The Fourth Walsh- Somewhat Recommended

"...Director Nick Bowling's cracker-jack cast fills the stage with personalities. Each ensemble member brings distinction to their historic portrayal. As the power couple steering the drama, Terge (played by a nimble Scott Parkinson) and Mona (played by a steadfast Bri Sudia) lie and coerce in the name of peace for the Middle East. Bowling injects an almost madcap urgency with tangled phone cords and raveling temperaments. These witty moments are the comedy relief in the ongoing back to back meetings."
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Katy Walsh



Third Coast Review- Highly Recommended

"...Rogers’ play is brilliantly structured in two acts and many scenes, in which he steadily builds tension while creating moments of friendship and humor. Bowling’s direction is smart and slick with a talented cast that includes many doubled roles. Rear wall projections, lighting changes and quick furniture moves create the illusion of multiple spaces. Scenic design is by Jeffrey D. Kmiec, with projections by Mike Tutaj, lighting by Jesse Klug and sound design by André Pluess."
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Nancy Bishop



Chicago Theater and Arts- Highly Recommended

"...Through somewhat fictionalized conversations of actual meetings, Rogers builds suspense as the process moves from one level to the next with the action continuing in behind-the scenes discussions at an out-of-the public eye Norwegian manor."
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Jodie Jacobs



Chicago On Stage- Highly Recommended

"...Director Bowling juggles all of these characters with ease and keeps scenes alive and moving—important factors in what is a fairly long play at well over two and a half hours. It’s a very talky play, but Bowling prevents it from ever getting slow enough to become dull, giving Rogers’ sparkling dialogue the opportunity to do its work. He is aided by a fine creative team including Jeffrey D. Kmiec, Jesse Klug, André Pluess and others including the aforementioned Tutaj as, together, they bring this riveting work to life, including one of the most beautiful and realistic snow scenes I’ve ever encountered."
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Karen Topham



PicksInSix- Highly Recommended

"...This is a shining moment for TimeLine Theatre Company. A co-production with Broadway in Chicago with an extraordinary cast and creative team—the sleek Jeffrey D. Kmiec set incorporates the beauty of Mike Tutaj’s projections, Christine Pascual’s costumes, Jesse Klug’s lighting and sound by André Pluess—fits seamlessly in the Broadway Playhouse. And there, at the heart of the story, is the essential element in any daunting, seemingly impossible task: to begin. “Oslo” weaves all of the best elements of a political thriller with the historical–now global–subject matter that is TimeLine’s brand with finely tuned, blistering performances that provide an unusual insider view of what is possible, if we only try."
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Ed Tracy



Picture This Post- Somewhat Recommended

"...For this viewer, however, the play involves too much of the same dynamic – rivals putting up road blocks while Larsen and Juul strategize to overcome them. Their lively marriage anchors everything yet, in this production, its soul stays somewhat out of reach. OSLO’s great strength is its presentation of an under-told backstory in contemporary Middle Eastern history. For those who are curious to learn how enemies came to accept each other's legitimacy long enough to craft an accord, the play will satisfy. The years since the September 1993 handshake have all but destroyed any prospect of Middle East peace. OSLO is a reminder of what can happen when courageous people invest in a vision for a better future."
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Susan Lieberman



Rescripted- Somewhat Recommended

"...However, J.T. Rogers’ script and Timeline’s production, directed by Nick Bowling, directly contradicts the very theory the real Larsen set out to prove with the Oslo experiment: that two opposing forces, without the interference of unconsciously biased third parties, could come together through genuine cultural sharing, trust building, and interpersonal exchange to resolve their conflicts."
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Arti Ishak