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  Sweet Bird of Youth at The Artistic Home

Sweet Bird of Youth

The Artistic Home
1376 W Grand Chicago

Both lyrical and lurid, Sweet Bird of Youth resonates as strongly as ever in a culture obsessed with controlling the sands of time. Williams masterfully unfolds his story of local boy gone bad Chance Wayne and his drunken, temperamental companion, faded movie star Princess Kosmonopolis, amidst a backdrop of small town narrow-mindedness, oil-rich politicians and heightened racial tensions.

Thru - Jan 16, 2011

Price: $20-$28

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 866-811-4111

  Sweet Bird of Youth Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...The script itself very often feels like a bang-on parody of Williams, pulling from the best parts of "A Streetcar Named Desire," "The Glass Menagerie" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (with a pinch of "Sunset Boulevard" on the side). No one wrote histrionic-prone middle-age women like Williams, and the princess is no exception. The play is clunky on the social issues — race and abortion among them — but it is also one of Williams' funniest."
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Nina Metz

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...Watching the Artistic Home's excellent, if at moments uneven revival of "Sweet Bird of Youth" -- a play about aging, crushed dreams, failure and the power of eros -- serves as a reminder of just what it is Williams could do with such singular power. Brutal truth-telling was at the heart of it, as he methodically but feverishly peeled away every pretense of human behavior and then proceeded to bore deep into the heart and soul. But then there is the poetry: The wounds he created might be terrible and scarring, but his language (as well as his biting humor) is invariably healing."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...the production crackles with sexual tension and wicked humor too, in the wonderful performances. Whiskey-voiced Kathy Scambiatterra melds comic outrageousness with sensitivity as Alexandra, who discovers a new humanity as her relationship with Chance evolves into compassionate friendship. At once attractive and repellent, Josh Odor's physically graceful, slyly humorous Chance gradually reveals emotional depths that belie the stereotype of the heartless hustler. Elizabeth Argus as Heavenly and Kristin Collins as Boss Finley's abused mistress, Miss Lucy, embody women who become complicit in their own victimization. And Frank Nall is genuinely creepy as evangelist-turned-politician Finley."
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Albert Williams

Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...The result is a production that emphasizes Williams’s inadvertent self-parody, despite more nuanced work by Odor as the cynical, failed golden boy and, in a smaller role, Elizabeth Argus as Chance’s ridiculously named lost love, Heavenly Finley. Scambiatterra finds surer footing in the play’s final scene, when Alexandra receives news that rejiggers the power dynamic between the damaged leads, but the damage to the play has already been done."
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Kris Vire

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...Fran Nall, as Boss Finley,  Kristine Collins as Miss Lucy offered terrific performances in addition to the fabulous turns from Josh Odor and Kathy Scambiatterra.  The Artistic Home’s Sweet Bird of Youth is one of the season’s best dramas. Don’t miss it!"
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...Scambiatterra and Odor may be the powerful anchors that ground Artistic Home's stunning production, but it really is Director Dale Calandra who makes this beautiful "Bird" fly. If you've been around Chicago long enough, you certainly will recognize the name. And while Calandra has been off doing some time in the Broadway production of "Hairspray," among other things, his return to Chicago is clearly cause for rejoicing in our theatrical community. Caldandra proves that he has the perfect feel for Williams' work. The casting is superb, right down to the smallest role, with Calandra's deft hand gliding effortlessly over this powerful theatrical work. Rarely has an Off Loop storefront production felt more assured than it does here. The stark all-white set, the perfectly cued sound and lighting design are all icing on a really classy cake. Don't waste a minute in getting your tickets. With luck, the demand for this hot show will require an extension, but don't take any chances. "Sweet Bird of Youth" is a must!"

Joe Stead

Around The Town Chicago - Recommended

"... It is not often that Chicago theater audiences are treated to Tennessee Williams classic plays, and this season we have two running at the same time; Raven Theatre’s smart production of “Cat on A Hot Tin Roof” at The Raven of course and now The Artistic Home’s strong production of “Sweet Bird of Youth” at their home in Wrigleyville. This is a rarely done play and one that is familiar to those who have followed the career of the late Paul Newman, who truly hit his shining star with this play. He and co-star Geraldine Page went from Broadway to Hollywood and as the saying goes, for Paul Newman, the rest is history! Artistic Home is a small, storefront theater with a very intimate feeling, so in many cases, they are somewhat limited in what they can do, but director Dale Calandra and set designer Mike Mroch made it work, perfectly."
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Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theater Beat - Highly Recommended

"...But rest assured, the Artistic Home’s production is not one big political deconstruction. True to Williams’ intent, the cast brings out all the sex, wit, and poetry crammed into the script. The opening scene alone casts Odor in a silhouette reminiscent of Paul Newman or Steve McQueen. Odor’s Chance sulks his way into sexiness—a completely different take on the role from Newman. Here one senses a man very cognizant of the clock ticking on his last desperate bid to make his dreams come true. Scambiatterra is simply an acting marvel. Her comic timing is impeccable in this deeply witty, high-maintenance-has-been-turned-comeback role. The very sound of her gravelly voice grounds Williams’ heightened, poetic language to realist perfection."

Paige Listerud

  Sweet Bird of Youth 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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