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  Hesperia at Writers Theatre


Writers Theatre
325 Tudor Court Glencoe

When Claudia left Ian and her old life in adult entertainment to return to her small-town roots, she found more than just a new start—she met her soon-to-be husband Trevor, the local youth minister and a man of god. But when Ian shows up on her doorstep just weeks before her wedding, their past together comes roaring back to life bringing doubts to Claudia’s now moral and well-ordered existence. In this honest exploration, playwright Randall Colburn brings an original voice to the complicated topics of love, sexuality and religion.

Thru - Mar 18, 2012

Price: $45-$65

Stage: Performed at 325 Tudor Court

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 847-242-6000

Running Time: 1hr, 30mins; no intermission

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  Hesperia Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Not Recommended

"...There are, for sure, some capable actors in this cast. When obliged to get angry, O'Sullivan surely delivers. But it's a weirdly invulnerable performance from an actress I've seen do magnificent work elsewhere: Here, her emotions seem like histrionics that fly out of nowhere. The hugely capable Hellman, here playing a naive character whose idea of fun is taking the youth group out for ice cream, is similarly ill at ease, perhaps because he can't wrestle the persistently infantile aspect of the character to the ground. And Hosner, who is stiff and flailing throughout, doesn't seem to know where he should put himself, or what he should do with his body."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...Colburn’s play can feel overly contrived at moments, and its back story is not always seamlessly integrated. But the Writers’ Theatre production (marking a rare but welcome foray into the “new play” arena) is compellingly watchable. And the playwright deftly leaves a large question mark hovering over the marriage of Trick and Claudia. For as the poet T.S. Eliot asked: “After such knowledge, what forgiveness?”"
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Hedy Weiss

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Colburn’s nuanced, nonjudgmental view of sex and Christianity remains as refreshing as it was 18 months ago, but his interim revisions and Stuart Carden’s ideally cast production have deepened the admirable, multifaceted uncertainties in his script. Carden’s subtle shifts of tone and pacing are just right, while each of his five splendid actors—including Tyler Ross as a guileless youth-group member and Rebecca Buller as Ian’s naive new love interest—strikes gold."
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Kris Vire

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...Director Stuart Carden builds the show along deliberate lines to a denouement that leaves the viewer with only one possible response: lots of burning questions. The playwright leaves Claudia and Trick with some hard issues to resolve – and us to ponder them as well."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...Colburn’s script still need more clarity and depth of character but it still plays as an honest look at rural America in the grips of Christian Fundamentalism. He expresses an original voice to the complex reality of love, sex, and religion. This show features terrific work by Erik Hellman and Nathan Hosner. It sure exposes the warts of Fundamental Christianity. Definitely worth a look."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Recommended

"...“Hesperia” ultimately defies expectations, as well as the opening night audience’s cynicism about small-town simpletons or its sniggering about carnal shenanigans among the rubes. This is no sexophobic “Spring Awakening” where sexual ignorance is the kiss of doom. In Colburn’s seemingly prudish “Hesperia,” first produced in Chicago in 2010 by The Right Brain Project, it seems the young people only say “I love you” when they actually mean it and not as a come-on before copulation. A kiss is a promise, not a reward. What a concept!"

Lawrence Bommer

Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Highly Recommended

"...Under the direction of Stuart Carden, the cast is almost to good to be true. And that’s the basis for the intrigue. I’m constantly trying to figure out ‘who are you and what do you want?‘ At the center of my analysis is Kelly O’Sullivan (Claudia) and Nathan Hosner (Ian). O’Sullivan and Hosner amplify forbidden passion of separated soulmates. When they are together, you can almost see the invisible ties binding them. Separately, O’Sullivan is born-again-virgin uptight and Hosner oozes a brooding sexuality. Hosner’s interactions with the others is also captivating. He plays it as an uncomplicated outsider. The others are tempted. An adorable Tyler Ross, a hilarious Rebecca Buller, and quirky Erik Hellman worship him instantly. They all want to save him or do they?"
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Katy Walsh

Around The Town Chicago - Recommended

"...Sex and Religion are topics that have often been dealt with in movies and on the stage. In the current production on the stage of Writers’ Theatre, that charming and intimate venue in Glencoe, a play such as “Hesperia” written by Randall Colburn allows the audience to feel that they can get into the lives of the characters he has penned."
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Alan 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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