Listen to "Talk Theatre In Chicago" for an interview with Artistic Director Andrew Hobgood, writers Will Cavedo and Benno Nelson, and Music Director Henry Riggs, as they talk about That Sordid Little Story.


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  That Sordid Little Story at The Viaduct

That Sordid Little Story

The Viaduct
3111 N. Western Avenue Chicago

Mixing modern American story-telling devices with the traditions of Greek theatre to bring you a hilarious and heart-wrenching tale of a boy in search of his past. As the curtain opens on the play “That Sordid Little Story,” the stage is set for a concert celebrating the latest release from the band, That Sordid Little Story, in 1963. However, as the story continues stories, music, themes, plots and stories combine, collide and clash. At first, the album eerily reveals aspects of Billy’s life but as his journey across America begins, Billy’s actions affect the rest of the album. Leaving the audience to ask the question; “Is Billy in charge of his own life or is his destiny and his future already decided for him?”

Listen to "Talk Theatre In Chicago" for an interview with Artistic Director Andrew Hobgood, writers Will Cavedo and Benno Nelson, and Music Director Henry Riggs, as they talk about That Sordid Little Story.

Thru - Aug 7, 2010

Price: $25

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 773-296-6024

Running Time: 2hrs 45mins; one intermission

  That Sordid Little Story Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...The music was a lot of fun last weekend — and the lyrics are quite rich and savvy in that quirky, post-modern way. And when the band is playing, the show is warm and palatable. But when the music stops, the story wanders off into wilderness. We desperately need a sense of time, something that can root us in a human, sensual world of searching, underpinned by music."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"... New Colony's approach also yields waste and confusion. Seemingly important plot points don't go anywhere, characters act arbitrarily, and there's so much pointless motion that you could cut an hour out of this 150-minute evening without doing it a bit of harm. Basically, the show needs a strong editorial and directorial hand, which may run counter to New Colony's sense of process. So the question is, When is a process freeing and when does it hold you back?"
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Tony Adler

Centerstage - Recommended

"...The New Colony, a young Chicago company aiming to actively cultivate a younger theater-going audience, attains at least that goal. Those in attendance seem hip and in the know, more likely spotted at a club or concert. So, while the show's unique concept isn't enough to carry it, the event certainly attracts a crowd."

Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"... The music, performed by a five-piece onstage ensemble, offers a lovely lilting counterpoint to the dramatic action. In its second act, when Billy rather mysteriously takes up with a pair of Latino day laborers, the play becomes temporarily bilingual, an intriguing and effective choice. And among generally solid performances, Sean Ellis stands out as a ranting stand-up comic. Despite the copious local color and quasiphilosophical musing, though, That Sordid Little Story, like its amiably bland protagonist, never makes all that deep an impression."
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John Beer

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...Once they trim off about twenty minutes and tighten some scenes (without cutting any of the music), That Sordid Little Story’ will play as a gem. The cavernous main stage of the Viaduct Theatre (now air-conditioned) is intelligently utilized by John Holt’s three-part set anchored with a large bar. New Colony is quickly becoming a fine theatre troupe deft at storytelling with a fresh voice and fine production values. That Sordid Little Story is wonderful storytelling with outstanding original bluegrass tunes. This is the discovery of the summer – don’t miss it! You’ll love the surprise ending."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...Looking at the musicals that are huge hits on the largest stages in the nation, I can see "That Sordid Little Story" fitting right up there with the likes of "Jersey Boys" and "Million Dollar Quartet".  This show has a score that is just as solid as any other and has a unique perspective that is hard to find in the mainstream.  Am I saying that "That Sordid Little Story" would be a huge Broadway success?  I don't know.  Should some producer give this show one hell of a good chance?  Absolutely."

Paul Cosca

  That Sordid Little Story 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.

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