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  Bus Stop at Raven Theatre

Bus Stop

Raven Theatre
6157 N. Clark St Chicago

A lot can happen in a single night. In a rural Kansas diner on a wintry night, things heat up when stranded passengers of a cross-country bus explore love in all of its many guises. This enchanting comedic drama portrays the full spectrum of romantic relationships.

Thru - Dec 11, 2011

Price: $30

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 773-338-2177

Running Time: 1hr 50mins; one intermission

Nearby Restaurants

  Bus Stop Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...Of course this being a play by Inge (also the author of “Picnic,” “Come Back, Little Sheba” and “The Dark at the Top of the Stairs”), you can expect an undertow of sex, lies and a touch of perversity served alongside all the coffee and donuts. But in Raven Theatre’s zesty revival of the play, director JoAnn Montemurro has focused more strongly on the play’s comic elements, and on its depiction of romantic love as that most elusive of things. And that works just fine, especially given that much of what might have been eyebrow-raising in 1955 is pretty much commonplace now."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...The iceman cometh to the prairie in William Inge's slice-of-life play about yearning souls laying bare their fears and foibles in a Kansas diner during a snowstorm. Ray Toler's detailed period set is a highlight, but the performances in JoAnn Montemurro's comfortable, somewhat aimless staging don't transcend the archetype-veering-into-stereotype nature of Inge's characters."
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Kerry Reid

Talkin Broadway - Recommended

"...The affection for the characters shown by Montemurro and company gently and gradually wins us over to them, and reassures us that even if people moved a bit slower 56 years ago, good relationships and meaningful connections weren't so easy to come by back then, either."
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John Olson

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...A broken man struggling with substance abuse and sexual addiction, Dr. Lyman puts up a mask of intellectual superiority to hide his shame; Steinhagen’s portrayal grows in intensity with each sip of spiked coffee. While Steinhagen skillfully traces Lyman’s breakdown as the mask slips away, his relationship with young waitress Elma (Sophia Menendian) suffers because of his costar. Menendian is inexplicably the only actor without an accent, and the stagnant cadence and pitch of her voice makes her dialogue sound canned and insincere. The ensemble works hard to make Inge’s characters as real as possible, but Menendian looks as if she’s playing a part instead of living a life."
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Oliver Sava

Chicago On the Aisle - Recommended

"...William Inge’s 1955 play “Bus Stop” may be known best by its loose adaptation in the 1956 film starring Marilyn Monroe. But as Raven Theatre reminds us with its engaging take on this off-kilter comedy-drama, the wry charms of “Bus Stop” are native to the stage, the intimate stuff of a cozy diner in the middle of nowhere on a snowbound night."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...The dynamics of Inge’s well structured play allows each character to express their dreams, hopes and their loneliness as we see their desperation and yearning played out overnight marooned at the diner. Filled with gripping and fluid dialogue, Bus Stop is an engaging work filled with empathetic characters that we willingly return to the world of 1955 Kansas. The play is ultimately optimistic and hopeful."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Somewhat Recommended

"... Like a comforting slice of homemade apple pie served at an all-night diner, I have often relied on the plays of William Inge to warm the cockles. Director Joanne Montemurro's somewhat bland Raven Theatre revival of "Bus Stop," however, felt more like stale donuts. The play itself was not the problem for me. In fact, I have enjoyed several top-notch productions of this 1955 classic on area stages. The current cast just never really connected with the characters or the feel of this vintage slice of Midwestern small town Americana. Several of the actors seemed to be going through the motions while one or two felt like they were in different plays altogether."

Joe Stead

Around The Town Chicago - Recommended

"...Bus Stop is one of William Inge’s best known plays. Most people remember it from the movie version as it featured Marilyn Monroe as the showgirl Cherry, but I have always preferred seeing it “live” on a smaller stage. That is what makes the current version, now on stage at The Raven Theatre very special."
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Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theater Beat - Recommended

"... Playwright William Inge creates homespun characters from Anywhere, USA. Inge traps them in close quarters. No place to hide from each other or themselves. Under the direction of JoAnn Montemurro, the road to self discovery is well-paced and natural. The talented cast organically embraces their personas. A staggering Jon Steinhagen (Dr. Lyman) pontificates slurred literature. Steinhagen is hilarious! A sweetly innocent Sophia Menendian (Elma) jars Steinhagen’s subtle awakening. Their chemistry charms with unexpected mutual adoration. Michael Stegall (Bo) fits a lot of personality on a little stage. A high-spirited cowboy, Stegall corrals laughs and empathy. His sidekick Mark Pracht (Virgil) intrigues with a discerning transition. Jen Short (Cherie) goes from distressed showgirl to uncertain homegirl. Bringing a lot of local character to the eatery, Kristen Williams is the wise-cracking owner, Antoine Pierre Whitfeld is the tender-hearted sheriff, and Dean LaPrairie is the smooth-talking bus driver."

Katy Walsh

  Bus Stop 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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