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  Tom Jones at Josephinum Academy

Tom Jones

Josephinum Academy
1500 N. Bell Ave Chicago

A comically sexy celebration of the truths and realities of life, this adaptation brings to the stage Henry Fielding’s 1749 novel, Tom Jones, a story also adapted into the highly popular, Academy Award winning 1963 film by Tony Richardson, starring Albert Finney. The story follows the journey of a bastard child of mysterious origin who is adopted into the family of Squire Allworthy. Limited by the inability to inherit the family fortune and desperately in love with Sophia Western, a young gentlewoman from a neighboring estate, Tom finds himself in a comedic whirlwind of circumstantial dilemmas and break-neck love affairs.

Thru - Apr 29, 2012



Price: $10-$19

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

www.petheatre.com



  Tom Jones Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...Hammond's sense of narrative clarity largely keeps the story on track — though the sliding doors on Dennis Mae's set seem pretty wobbly, making for less-than-smooth transitions at points. Covering the wooden walls and platforms with pages from the novel itself almost seems like special pleading — "Look how much text there is to pare!" But the 17-member ensemble works well at filling the small theater with exuberant life and saucy energy. The volume gets a bit strident here and there, but Davis' choirboy features make for a wholly believable Tom, Beal's Blifil oozes slimy self-interest and the whole endeavor is so high-spirited and eager to please that, like Tom himself, its rough surroundings can't hide its good heart."
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Kerry Reid


Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...David Hammond's adaptation pares the story to its essentials while preserving Fielding's choicest bons mots. Marcus Davis and Alex Fisher are fresh-faced and likable as good-hearted, hapless Tom and his sweetheart, Sophie. They and the rest of the cast stand out like vivid, charming color plates against Dennis Mae's wonderfully austere set, the walls of which are plastered with pages from the novel."
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Keith Griffith


Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...Several actors command the wry subtlety or brashness of their characters. But at nearly three hours in Polarity’s cramped venue, the play feels like watching a half-marathon run in period costumes. There’s plenty of merry laughter, sword fights, coquettish shrieks and so on, yet no one quite seems to know what to do with his or her hands. The absence of adult sexuality and a stageworthy plot arc leaves this a one-note romp."
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Emily Gordon


ChicagoCritic - Not Recommended

"...The only stage worthy performance was from Marcus Davis, as the empathetic Tom Jones. Davis captures the charm and naivete of the sexy wondering bastard. The rest of the cast was so over-the-top that the show played like as cartoon devoid of humor. If the show as cut 30-40 minutes and the tone was more subdued and less zany, maybe there would be a stage worthy show here. As it now plays, I can’t figure out who would enjoy this show since it’s not funny, it’s too long, it’s too loud, and it’s not sexy enough."
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Tom Williams


Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"... "Tom Jones" is that rare (very rare) thick book by a long-dead guy still funny enough after 214 years to win the 1963 Oscar for Best Picture. Polarity Ensemble Theatre proves that Tom's charms didn't desert him as he entered the new millennium. This Midwest premiere of David Hammond's deft adaptation is everything you'd want it to be: clever, spirited, funny, literate, insightful, physical, and teeming with engaging characters engagingly played."

Lori Davis


Chicago Theater Beat - Recommended

"...Tom Jones is an epic story, and it takes over two and a half hours to see it through to the end. The fact that Polarity Ensemble Theatre is able to take it on – using borrowed space from Josephinum Academy (which isn’t much, the green room is a hallway with paper screen dividing it from the public), and limited props – is remarkable. This is a large-scale story brought down to living proportions. You’ll especially enjoy this play if you're a fan of Dickens, Shakespeare or Fielding."

J.H. Palmer


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