Listen to "Talk Theatre In Chicago" for an interview with Kirsten Fitzgerald, Mierka Girten and Natalie West -- three of the cast members from Abigail's Party.


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  Abigail's Party at A Red Orchid Theatre

Abigail's Party

A Red Orchid Theatre
1531 N. Wells Street Chicago

A domestic cocktail party goes hilariously and horrifically awry exposing the obsessions, prejudices and petty competitiveness of the party-goers. A sort of suburban comedy of manners, and satire on the aspirations and tastes of the new middle class that emerged in Britain in the 1970s and ring so true today. The play, developed through lengthy improvisations in which Mike Leigh explored characters in all their beautiful flawed glory, provides a tremendous opportunity for the entire creative team.

Listen to "Talk Theatre In Chicago" for an interview with Kirsten Fitzgerald, Mierka Girten and Natalie West -- three of the cast members from Abigail's Party.

Thru - May 23, 2010

Price: $15-$30

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 312-943-8722

Nearby Restaurants

  Abigail's Party Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...The dominant performance here is from Kirsten Fitzgerald, who plays a larger-than-life hostess dispensing bitter barbs along with the cocktails. Along with Larry Grimm, who plays her emaciated, angry, estate-agent husband, Fitzgerald finds delicious shades of Edward Albee's George and Martha, but still manages to be a recognizable type whose ministrations and manipulations are not confined to one side of the Atlantic."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...Under the snap, crackle and pop direction of Shade Murray, Leigh’s play (a tighter, more class-conscious variation on Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”) is now having the stuffing acted out of it by five bravura members of A Red Orchid’s ensemble. At once hilarious, corrosive and poignant, the production serves as a searing indictment of the terrible things human beings can do to each other in their own homes."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...This 1977 tragedy of manners by Mike Leigh--the auteur best known for films like Happy-Go-Lucky and Vera Drake--operates on the fool-around-and-fool-around-and-somebody-ends-up-in-tears principle: it makes dysfunction hugely amusing right up to the moment when the bottom falls out. Kirsten Fitzgerald is not to be missed as Beverly, the hostess with a strange talent for getting her guests to overcome their best instincts."
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Tony Adler

Copley News Service - Highly Recommended

"...Shade Murray directs with a strong sense of pace, unspooling the dialogue and confrontations like the audience is eavesdropping on a real party, with all its comic horrors. Daniel Stratton designed a nicely detailed living room interior that fits comfortably within the ultra intimate Red Orchid playing area. Melissa Torchia designed the costumes."

Dan Zeff

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...Leigh’s prickly dialogue is well handled—Fitzgerald turns Beverly’s most innocent expressions into comic grenades—but the play’s pacing often sags, and Grimm’s cool portrayal of Laurence strips the role of its browbeaten vulnerability. But Mierka Girten’s vacantly sweet Angela is a fine foil to the monosyllabically savage Tony (Danny McCarthy), and an impromptu dance party showcases Girten’s and Fitzgerald’s gift for physical comedy. Just as the awkwardness reaches an almost unbearable pitch, the play slaps shut on an antic, unfinished note, underscoring a very funny but mixed production."
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Melissa Albert

ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...This is as fine an ensemble work as you’ll find. This wonderful Equity cast nails the dark humor while slowly allowing their true thoughts to emerge. Abagail’s Party is a master class on acting from swift comic timing to honest character portrayals."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...Directed by Shade Murray with a sterling cast of actors portraying very special characters, this play is in the light of an English "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?". Abigail is a teenager who resides with her mother and brother down the street. She does not enter into the story at all, except it is her party that allows Beverly (a wild and crazy performance by Kirstin Fitzgerald) and Laurence (Larry Grimm in an understated character study of an unhappy man) to host Abigail's mother Susan (Natalie West, who you might recall from "Roseanne" on TV, who I guess is the best actress at playing women who have no expression) and the new "kids" on the block, Tony (Danny McCarthy) and Angela (Mierka Girten) over for the evening."

Al Bresloff

   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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