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  Passion at Chicago Shakespeare Theater


Chicago Shakespeare Theater
800 East Grand Avenue Chicago

CST Associate Artistic Director Gary Griffin stages Sondheim’s rhapsodic tour de force about the obsessive nature of power, beauty and love. Griffin’s inspired work includes Broadway’s Tony Award-nominated The Color Purple, Olivier Award-winning Pacific Overtures, and CST’s critically acclaimed productions of A Little Night Music and Sunday in the Park with George.

Thru - Nov 11, 2007

Price: $44-$64

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 312-595-5600

Running Time: 1hr 40mins; no intermission

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  Passion Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...The best moments here are when Gasteyer's endlessly prodding Fosca verbally and physically interrogates and undermines Adam Brazier's Giorgio, the handsome soldier who must choose between the beautiful Kathy Voytko's lovely (but married) Clara and the needy Fosca. One wishes it were less a one-way exchange. Brazier looks the part and sings gorgeously, but he fails to convey all the necessary intellectual complexity of this man."

Chris Jones

Daily Herald - Highly Recommended

"... was taken again with the candor and eloquence of Sondheim's lyrics, a departure from the caustic wordplay that often characterizes his work. And I was reminded again why director Gary Griffin has been heralded as one of Sondheim's foremost interpreters. His masterful staging on CST's upstairs stage (the perfect scale for this evocative chamber operetta) confirms his reputation."
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Barbara Vitello

SouthtownStar - Highly Recommended

"...Director Gary Griffin deserves much credit for his sensitive and exquisite direction of the piece. Griffin, who directed the musical production of "The Color Purple" - as well as other Sondheim works, such as "Sunday in the Park With George," "A Little Night Music" and "Pacific Overtures" - has become the best interpreter of the composer's work."
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Betty Mohr

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Lapine's stilted script and Sondheim's score--reminiscent of but inferior to his brilliant work in the 70s and 80s--keep the material at the level of soap opera. Gary Griffin's intimate staging stars Ana Gasteyer, a fine actress whose voice unfortunately lacks the operatic heft this music demands; neither she nor her fellow actors overcome the limitations of this tedious melodrama."

Albert Williams

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...Directed by Gary Griffin, Passion’s brutal heart beats true. This is a love story and a story of insatiable mania, a fever dream of devouring fury. And it’s treacherous in the telling; manhandle Passion even a little and you’ve got Fatal Attraction in period costume. But Griffin has a gift for illuminating sorrow without pathos, and with Passion, he takes the dark, lustrous core of the human heart and makes an inferno of it. Passion is a brief, indelible interlude, and—thanks to Rob Berman’s exquisite musical direction—a production of auditory incandescence."

Catey Sullivan

Chicago Free Press - Recommended

"...Director Gary Griffin, who’s carved out a smart career niche restaging Sondheim at Chicago Shakes, again takes the reins, returns to the company’s intimate upstairs studio, home to his brilliant “Pacific Overtures.” As with that musical (but unlike “Sunday in the Park with George”), “Passion” is well suited to the space. Like Giogrio and Fosca, the audience is trapped in a cloistered military world. Griffin utilizes the catwalks and stairwells for the small military chorus; the same spaces allow Clara to appear separate from the rest of the ensemble as she sings the text of the love letters she and Giorgio constantly write."
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Web Behrens

EpochTimes - Highly Recommended

"...This is truly a musical that entertains as well as opens our eyes to see what is in our hearts instead of our eyes. The intimate setting of the Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare is perfect for this type of production as we really get the opportunity to feel each of the emotions expressed to us as the characters use the aisles and the balconies during this one hour and forty-five minutes ( no intermission), making the audience feel as we are peeking into the lives of these characters."

Al Bresloff

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...Set in 19th-century Italy, Passion has the veneer of a bygone era: letters, rendezvous, even a duel. But beneath that veneer is a musically complex masterwork. More than plot devices, the letters formally advance the theme: Giorgio sings Fosca’s missive to him in the first person; and so, as her passion overwhelms him, their identities blur."
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Novid Parsi

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...This journey of discovery has such a beautiful score, on such romantic words, sung with an emotional charged cast, making Sondheim’s Passion a stunning piece of art. This is treasure of a chamber operetta. Romantics, music lovers and the passionate will rejoice in this rapturously haunting music gem. Adam Brazier, Kathy Voytko and Ana Gasteyer render fabulous performances."
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Tom Williams

   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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