Theatre In Chicago      
Your Source For What's On Stage In Chicago 

   Quick Search
Search by date:

  Travels With My Aunt at Writers Theatre

Travels With My Aunt

Writers Theatre
325 Tudor Court Glencoe

Henry Pulling, a mild-mannered retired banker, leads a quiet life tending his beloved dahlias and never straying too far from his Southwood, England home. But when his eccentric and outrageous Aunt Augusta suddenly appears in his life with mysterious information about his past, Henry is drawn from the safety of his flower beds into a series of absurd and exotic international adventures. Henry, Aunt Augusta and more than 25 characters are brilliantly and inventively portrayed by just four actors who switch identities, nationalities, ages and genders in this exciting theatrical escapade. Adapted from the celebrated novel by Graham Green, Travels with My Aunt takes you on an irreverent, often hilarious and absolutely unforgettable adventure...

Thru - Apr 10, 2011

Price: $45-$60

Stage: Performed at 664 Vernon Avenue

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 847-242-6000

Running Time: 2hrs 30mins: one intermission

Writers Theatre Seating Charts

Nearby Restaurants

  Travels With My Aunt Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...Most happily of all, the intimate space and the directness of the acting also help make this a more personal experience. These performers never overplay a single moment — Fortunato's clear resistance to turning Aunt Augusta into Lady Bracknell pays huge dividends in the honesty and sophistication of the work. With the help of a very shrewdly ambidextrous design from Brian Sidney Bembridge, these men concentrate instead on realizing a truthful theatrical mosaic that is, for sure, light and fanciful, but also richly, whimsically human. This show will, I suspect, gently invigorate many a North Shore Christmas and, perchance, spark a little healthy new-year wanderlust."
Read Full Review

Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...It is Havergal’s rollicking version that is now receiving a vivid, supremely well-acted production in Writers’ Theatre’s intimate bookstore space in Glencoe. It is there that the very skillful director Stuart Carden has gathered four remarkable actors — Sean Fortunato, John Hoogenakker, LaShawn Banks and Jeremy Sher — who portray a slew of exotic characters while also slyly slipping in and out of the central role of Henry Pulling — an impossibly bland 55-year-old banker and bachelor in early retirement."
Read Full Review

Hedy Weiss

Daily Herald - Recommended

"... Fortunato charms with his meticulous, expertly modulated turn as Augusta, who inspires in her nephew not just rebellion but tolerance. Hoogenakker is delicate and understated as the women in Henry’s life. Then there is the subtle, expressive Banks, whose portrayal of the lovesick Wordsworth nearly breaks your heart. Last but not least is Sher less prominent but absolutely essential who uses umbrellas, half-filled wine glasses and his own fingertips to marvelous effect in realizing Mikhail Fiksel’s imaginative sound design."
Read Full Review

Barbara Vitello

Examiner - Recommended

"...Travels With My Aunt is an extremely clever bit of business. With four men playing upward of a 25 roles, it is an exquisite example of actorly technique deployed with impeccable precision. In Writers’ Theatre’s production, there’s nary a prop or a costume change that indicates when one of four identically attired gents morph from the priggishly celibate 50something retired banker into any among the colorful rogues’ gallery of characters that seen to fill the stage. Yet there’s never a wisp of doubt as to who’s who."
Read Full Review

Catey Sullivan

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Performed chamber-theater-style by a sharp cast of four men dressed in bowlers and three-piece pinstriped suits, Giles Havergal's stage adaptation of the Greene tale is an engrossing, satisfyingly nasty yarn that unexpectedly has as much to say about true passion as it does about looted art."
Read Full Review

Tony Adler

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...The confined quarters in Writers' Theatre's suburban storefront that reduces Brian Sidney Bembridge's set dressing to a collection of suitcases and incidental props makes for smooth and swift transitions under the choreographic direction of company newcomer Stuart Carden for the cozy two hours of their running time. The four players, carefully drilled by dialect consultant Eva Breneman, ascertain that our re-orientation time as we zip from locale to locale and persona to persona is minimal and effortless. There's still the problem of the constantly-shifting focus, however—but since the show is scheduled to play until March, why not see it more than once and thus, get the whole experience"
Read Full Review

Mary Shen Barnidge

Copley News Service - Highly Recommended

"...The actors perform within a small area in the back room of a downtown Glencoe bookstore. The audience sits on two sides of the stage. At both ends are shelves stacked with suitcases that symbolize the travels of the main characters and also hold props, like telephones. It’s a perfect intimate environment for the story. Indeed, the play would probably be un-doable in an adaptation calling for more than two dozen performers and multiple scenery changes. Havergal rightly trusts the audience’s imagination to fill in the visual and dramatic spaces left open by the minimalist staging."

Dan Zeff

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"... The quartet’s athletic, hilarious teamwork transcends Greene’s crafty claptrap. The effortless panache with which the actors switch accents and characters is never less than dazzling."
Read Full Review

John Beer

ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...The two and a half hour adventure is filled amazing acting by the four talents as they swiftly tell Aunt Augusta’s adventures on the Orient Express to Istanbul and eventually to Argentina and Paraguay. The four actors switch identities, nationalities, ages, races and genders while returning often to playing Henry Pulling. I was impressed by the instant turn of characters that never slowed down the action nor confused us as to what was happening. The outstanding versatility of theses four made for a fun evening of theatre. Director Stuart Carden’s blocking and staging added clarity."
Read Full Review

Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Recommended

"...Giles Havergal's adaptation of Graham Greene's entertainment novel fits in well with Writers' rich literary niche. For those who enjoyed Broadway in Chicago's small cast stage adaptation of "Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps," this is the same premise, albeit more successfully scaled to Writers' appealingly intimate bookstore space. The central character, the dahlia cultivating Pulling is rather a bore and little more than a reactionary to his aunt's "bizarre journeys". Fortunately, Writers has a team of deft story tellers who manage to keep our interest with little more than sheer talent."

Joe Stead

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...This is a true escapade of comedy with four brilliant actors playing the same role as well as many others and once we get into the first ten minutes, we have no problem following who they are. In fact, the 2 1/2 hours in the small theater was probably the shortest 2 1/2 hours I have ever spent in the theater- that’s how quickly it moved.  The sound design, including the “Foley” concept is by Mikhail Fiskel ( aka, The White Russian) who is one of Chicago’s top sound people. The set by Brian Sidney Bembridge ( another well known name in our great theater city) works just right for this small venue with walls lined with suitcases and antiques and some wonderful props designed by Nick Heggestad and the show is well lit by Jesse Klug. The costumes (Jacqueline Firkins)are quite simple in that all four are dressed in formal attire (perfect for their  Henry character)."
Read Full Review

Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theater Beat - Recommended

"...The foursome travels together brilliantly, making this a trip worth going on, even if you don’t care for the journey’s final destination."

Leah A. Zeldes

  Travels With My Aunt Photo Gallery

   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.

Twitter Follow Us On Twitter