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  Bury the Dead at The Artistic Home

Bury the Dead

The Artistic Home
1376 W Grand Chicago

Irwin Shaw’s 1936 masterpiece is an incendiary indictment of war. On a battlefield in the second year of the war that is to begin tomorrow night, six dead soldiers killed in action inexplicably stand up and refuse to be buried in their graves. The response from the military, the public and the soldiers’ families is by turns horrific and heartbreaking.

Presented by Promethean Theatre Ensemble

Thru - May 21, 2011

Price: $20

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 1-800-838-3006

  Bury the Dead Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Director Beth Wolf can't find a tone that unifies the dark satire and poetic earnestness in the first half of Irwin Shaw's unwieldy 1936 play. But the cast of this troubled Promethean Theatre Ensemble production handle tricky, poignant scenes with grace and guts during the more cohesive second act, in which important women from the soldiers' lives travel to the mass grave to convince the men to stay dead."
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Justin Hayford

Windy City Times - Recommended

"...Director Beth Wolf wisely keeps the action scaled to the intimate dimensions of the Artistic Home's storefront auditorium, making for a spartan stage picture as her mostly young actors deliver emotionally intense performances transcending the propagandist archetypes they portray. Audience members whose exposure to international conflict is limited to safely-sanitized summaries, conveniently submitted well after the fact, may argue that the atrocities of 1918 are no longer relevant in an age of Smart Bombs and Kevlar jackets, but until somebody invents a war where nobody dies, the untimely slaughter of our country's youth will continue to invoke sorrow and outrage."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Centerstage - Highly Recommended

"...Promethean does a marvelous job making this a timeless story. The actors succeed through subtlety and deep emotions that don’t overdo it. Janeane Bowlare (Joan / Reporter) is particularly strong and convincing as both the selfish wife, who would rather see her husband buried so she can cash in on the army benefits that come with his death. And Shawna Tucker and Quinn White create a realistic portrayal of the doting mother facing the horror of her son’s disfigurement."

Marla Seidell

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...Wolf’s staging, which is pretty flat and unremarkable up to here, comes alive (if you’ll pardon the pun) at precisely the same moment. The actors playing the soldiers deliver poignant, spellbinding explanations for why they’re not ready to leave the world yet, many of them having to do with simple joys—nice weather, pretty girls, cold beers—but, as Emily discovers postmortem in Our Town, it’s the everyday things that can break your heart. Similarly, it’s in these quiet, unadorned moments that Wolf’s production is at its most eloquent and Shaw’s antiwar argument is at its most convincing."
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Zac Thompson

ChicagoCritic - Not Recommended

"... The acting was spotty and the tone was weird mixture of expressionist drama and satirical farce. I could not find enough stage worthiness in this show to warrant a recommendation. Since Promethean Theatre Ensemble has mounted many excellent shows, they are allowed one ill advised show."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Not Recommended

"...The entire ensemble was miscast and misused, throwing this ninety minute show against the electric fence. You grab the play’s entire message in the very beginning but you are forced to sit through the next hour and twenty-eight minutes watching character after character repeat themselves over and over again. Not to mention this cast had the worst case of opening night butterflies I have ever seen here in Chicago, constant line mess ups resulted in actors having to backtrack to attempt to finish their thought. Maybe the show was just under rehearsed and Promethean Theatre will be able to pick things up as their run of “Bury the Dead” continues, but as of right now, the show is nowhere near worth the twenty dollar ticket price."

Tyler Tidmore

Around The Town Chicago - Recommended

"...As the story progresses, it is decided that perhaps bringing the women in the lives of these men might change their minds and so, we meet the lovers, wives , a sister and a mother, each having a conversation about why they should be buried and yet, as they have their scenes, we also hear why they should not. We learn a lot about the feelings that these men have about having to leave what they had behind, including their youth and of course their families. These are heart warming scenes and thought provoking as well. This is a powerful story with some very strong acting from a fairly new theater company that has a lot to say."
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Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theater Beat - Not Recommended

"...With Bury the Dead, Promethean Theatre has produced the equivalent of taking “Gone with the Wind” and setting it in China. This confusing and poorly thought out concept is further harmed by uneven performances and heavy-handed direction. Yes, the script certainly has its flaws, but with some clever updates, it could still have made for an entertaining watch. But save for a Katy Perry reference, the script seems strangely naive, turning what should be a tense drama into a bizarre farce."

Keith Ecker

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