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  Escape From Happiness at Raven Theatre

Escape From Happiness

Raven Theatre
6157 N. Clark St Chicago

This darkly caustic comedy follows the idiosyncratic members of one very broken family in search of wholeness again. Both a viciously funny satire and poignant meditation on forgiveness, Escape from Happiness offers a unique and hilarious perspective on the many familial ties that bind.

Presented by Infamous Commonwealth Theatre

Thru - Aug 8, 2010

Price: $10-$20

Stage: West Stage

Show Type: Comedy

Box Office: 773-338-2177

Running Time: 2hrs 35mins: one intermission

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  Escape From Happiness Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Infamous Commonwealth Theatre plays the quasi-farcical plotline for optimum zaniness, with lots of shouting and grappling and a sense of barely contained chaos--which only underscores Walker's tendency to substitute quirks for character. Nancy Friedrich manages to transcend the material with a scene-stealing, sublimely dingbatty performance as the basket-case middle sister."
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Zac Thompson

Windy City Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...Director Genevieve Thompson and her cast rarely get the right grip on the material, but Walker's screechy and unwieldy script is the major fault. Escape from Happiness is aptly named, but in the most ironic and unfortunate sense."
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Scott C. Morgan

Chicago Stage Review - Somewhat Recommended

"...Walkerís script flounders and fluctuates between absurd comedy, melodrama and childishly developed sociopolitical sermonizing. Director Genevieve Thompson extracts some surprisingly delightful humor and extraordinary performances but you canít help but think that all of this talent would be better served by a better-constructed script. Still, the incomparable performances of Nancy Friedrich and Jennifer Matthews are well worth your time."
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Venus Zarris

Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"... The production isnít wholly without joy. Katherine Arfkinís set nails the look of every suburban kitchen from which high schoolers sneak Oreos and booze. Jim Farrell turns in his usual strong work as a patriarch, apparently having a blast merging faux-senility and craftiness, while Nancy Friedrich makes middle-child Mary Ann a hilarious, lisping Gollum. Almost every cast member finds a few bits of sharp timing, but these moments come off like tiny, heartbreaking rebellions on the train ride to Walkerís quirk gulag."
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Caitlin Montanye Parrish

ChicagoCritic - Not Recommended

"...The characters are over-written, over-played moving the work from an absurdist comedy to a wordy stupid, much too long, viciously eccentric failure. The cast works hard to make this impossible material stage worthy. The result is complete silliness that made me embarrassed for the talented cast.† Unfortunately, Walkerís goofy work needs serious edits and a refocus. Infamous Commonwealth Theatre will bounce back, donít give up on them."
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Tom Williams

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