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  The Girl in the Yellow Dress at Noyes Cultural Arts Center

The Girl in the Yellow Dress

Noyes Cultural Arts Center
927 Noyes Street Evanston

South African dramatist Craig Higginsonʼs tour de force new play pairs dark, sexually charged psychological drama with uncompromising wit. Set in contemporary Paris, this gripping new play explores the tense relationships of class, race and language between Celia, a beautiful young white English teacher and Pierre, her French-Congolese pupil.

Thru - Feb 25, 2012

Price: $25-$40

Show Type: Drama

  The Girl in the Yellow Dress Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Not Recommended

"... Big shifts — such as when Celia suddenly confesses aspects of her past — feel inorganic and tough to believe in that moment. Crises come out of nowhere. Everything lurches. Nothing seems to flow. At one point, we see a spotlight on a bunch of flowers. At another, the ever-subtle spotlight returns to show them having wilted. Like the viewer."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...Watching these two actors at work — under the explosive direction of Joanie Schultz — is nothing short of riveting, even if their opening scene might have unfolded just a bit more slowly and tentatively."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...What could be a smash-up romance comes across as a literary contrivance in Joanie Schultz's staging. Though Schultz gets some heat out of Carrie Coon's Celia and Austin Talley's Pierre, it's not enough to steam up that nice apartment."
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Tony Adler

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Coon has become a go-to actor for deeply vulnerable characters whose repressed feelings boil over and consume them (she’ll reprise her extra-sticky Honey from Steppenwolf’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? on Broadway this fall). Celia may be Coon’s most volatile role yet. Even after we learn the extent of her instability, it’s hard not to be entranced by the character, especially once she slips into the titular yellow dress. Celia protects herself by drawing attention away from her personal life; each choice she makes, from her words to her wardrobe, is a new distraction for Pierre."
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Oliver Sava

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...As an inherently talky play with a single set, the teacher’s apartment, “The Girl in the Yellow Dress” requires an aura of coiled energy to sustain its momentum. Director Joanie Schultz not only keeps the play in motion but also ratchets up the tension as the final scenes release a tumbling sequence of revelations. The stark, book-lined apartment designed by Jacqueline and Richard Penrod could just as well be a psychiatrist’s office."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

ChicagoCritic - Not Recommended

"... The play feels forced and mechanical. The slow pace and the lack of enough dramatictension madethe90 minute one act plow on as more of a grammar lesson than a relationship play with something to say. I got bored since I neither relatedto nor caredfor either character. Next Theatre has mounted an impressive body of work over the yearsso I’ll forgive this inert work."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Somewhat Recommended

"...With all of these issues on the table, I must say it is hard to dislike the Next production on a purely technical level. Director Joanie Schultz has cast two attractive and intelligent actors, Talley and Coon, whose performances somewhat elevate the material they are working with here. Set designers Jacqueline and Richard Penrod have supplied a tastefully chic, modern interior setting whose only discrepancy is how its owner is able to afford it. Ultimately, any serious conversation about racial equality and victimization is muted because none of it rings true. This "Girl in the Yellow Dress" is all dressed up with nowhere to go."

Joe Stead

Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Highly Recommended

"...Next Theatre presents the United States premiere of THE GIRL IN THE YELLOW DRESS. Celia is an English-as-a-second-language tutor. Pierre is her new student. He got her number from her flyer. The weird part is she hasn’t put up flyers in a long time. What’s Pierre’s story anyway? Celia instructs him to disclose personal information. Whether imaginary or factual, Celia believes sharing anecdotes is skill-building language technique. Pierre pushes Celia to reveal her own secrets. At first glance, these two look like any tutor and student. As they get to know each other, it’s a lesson in depth perception. THE GIRL IN THE YELLOW DRESS is a simplistically complex stunner."
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Katy Walsh

Chicago Theater Beat - Somewhat Recommended

"... Not for lovers of Valentine’s Day, this 90-minute U.S. premiere by South African playwright Craig Higginson depicts a romance gone rancid between troubled souls with biased backgrounds."

Lawrence Bommer

   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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