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  Sweet and Sad at Profiles Theatre - The Main Stage

Sweet and Sad

Profiles Theatre - The Main Stage
4139 N. Broadway Chicago

With Sweet and Sad, Tony Award-winning playwright Richard Nelson continues his series of plays exploring the immediate present as well as the ever-changing state of the nation. Over Sunday brunch on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the members of the Apple Family finds themselves talking about loss, remembrance and the family struggle to maintain its moral equilibrium in a world that no longer reflects its values.

Thru - Oct 7, 2012

Price: $20-$40

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-549-1815

Running Time: 1hr, 40mins

  Sweet and Sad Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"... there are many powerful moments in this 100-minute show, which is well worth seeing. Many of these insights flow from Breuler's beautifully vulnerable and understated performance, and from some lovely work by Ford, who plays a sad young woman caught among grief, anger, betrayal, loss and, well, just getting on with life, since those things seem to be unavoidable anyway."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...Director Joe Jahraus, working on Shaun Renfro’s spare but effective “in-the square” set, gives us a naturalistic enough production. But too much in “Sweet and Sad” — the third of four planned to look at the shifting currents in the Apple family, and by extension this country — seems manipulated and manipulative."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Though the touchy, inquisitive clan do their best to avoid revisiting it, the enormity of the World Trade Center catastrophe both amplifies and diminishes their personal traumas: Tim's inability to keep a steady job, Richard's struggle with selling out his liberal politics, Marian's grief over her teenage daughter's suicide, aging Benjamin's vanishing memory, Kate's failure to turn the Apples into a happy family. Joe Jahraus's sterling cast navigate Nelson's emotional minefield with grace and gravity. But, short on dramatic structure, the play never gathers much momentum."
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Justin Hayford

Talkin Broadway - Highly Recommended

"...In the course of this 105-minute intermissionless play, with the action all in real time (save for moments when the actors pause as we hear the whirring sound of a camera and see a flash, as if to shoot a photo of the moment), the characters come to a deeper understanding of their losses. While listening to a recording of requiem, Barbara notes that she only recently learned the meaning of the word—"to rest." Sometimes it's time to give memories a rest. It's a theme that is likely to make Sweet and Sad enduring after all."
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John Olson

Centerstage - Somewhat Recommended

"...Richard Greenberg’s new play, “Sweet and Sad,” currently running at Profiles Theatre, is exactly what its title says it is: little bit sweet, a little bit sad, a little bit relevant, but not really much of anything. Set on September 11th, 2011, it aims to serve as a (white, upper middle class) snapshot of that particular moment in American history. Over the course of two hours, the Apple family in upstate New York wrestles with their various estrangements, both from each other and from the country at large. In the hands of an old pro like Greenberg, the play certainly holds our attention, but one feels that the skills of such an accomplished playwright could be put to better use."

Alex Huntsberger

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...As the dinner-table conversation meanders around and, eventually, lands on the subject of 9/11, it becomes clear that among the playwright’s questions about the attack’s legacy (or specter) is the role, if any, of art in coming to terms with tragedies of any scale. Nelson’s dialogue comprises masterfully rendered iterations of familial familiarity, needling minutiae about health insurance or politics interwoven with intimate invocations of history. Director Joe Jahraus’s ensemble, warm and convincing, delivers the minor-key musings on the state of our nation with equal measures of the titular elements."
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Kris Vire

ShowBizChicago - Highly Recommended

"...“Sweet and Sad” is more than what it purports to be: A sweetly sad, visceral, political, chaotic play about modern family members navigating their own lives — with or without each other — while struggling to uphold their composure in the lingering wake of nonsensical violence. You’ll leave the play not with answers, but with a new set of post-9/11 questions, mulling over today’s myriad ethical grey areas."
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Melody Udell

Chicago Theatre Addict - Recommended

"...This cast, under Joe Jahraus’ direction, knows how to deliver Nelson’s naturally meandering script with stunning ease (particularly Robert Breuler as the amnesia-stricken Uncle Benjamin). There are side conversations, interruptions, knowing stares across the table, bursts of laughter and quiet tears. It’s fascinating and fearless work."
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Bob Bullen

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...With its surging dialogue and tumbling emotions, “Sweet and Sad” is an ensemble work par excellence, chamber music fraught with dissonance that never veers into cacophony in the hands of these skilled actors under director Joe Jahraus. Set designer Shaun Renfro’s plain, squared off stage platform is empty when the play begins, then filled with furniture and the meal by the actors and finally emptied again."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Stage and Cinema - Highly Recommended

"...What cannot be challenged is the terrific ensemble performance. This is not a typical show for Profiles, which has carved out a special niche in Chicagoland theater for edgy, physical works that don’t shy away from violence, nudity, and strong language. But the current production, under the insightful direction of Joe Jahraus, is a flawless slice of realistic theater, each performer perfectly capturing the essence of his or her middle class white character."
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Dan Zeff

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"... I was particularly impressed with the work of Eric Burgher as the frustrated actor/waiter. Kate Harris’ deep strength come across as she tries to keep the family together. Robert Breuler is most effective in the thankless role as Uncle Benjamin. The one hour and forty minute drama was a fascinating journey into dynamic of today’s families. Richard Nelson sure has his pulse on the state of the nation as witnessed by the American family. The Profiles Theatre production is flawless, and thought provoking. It is one of the finest show they have mounted in years. It is a “must see” hit."
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Tom Williams

Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Highly Recommended

"...The cast is perfect in their human imperfection. They come together as a loving and flawed family. This is the second in a four play series Nelson is writing about the Apples. His dream is for the plays to be performed in succession. I would love for that initiative to come to fruition with one caveat. I’d like to see these actors play all those Apples: Robert Breuler, Eric Burgher, Darrell W. Cox, Kate Ford, Harmony France, Kate Harris. I’m so engaged in their characters I want to know what happened to them before and after this Sunday dinner. I’m invested in this cast. I heart these Apples! SWEET AND SAD is a juicy, ripe, golden delicious!"
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Katy Walsh

Around The Town Chicago - Recommended

"...Nelson deals with the individual personalities of these people as we see each one open up to each other and learn that they need to listen with more than their ears, but with their inner beings as others express fears, confusion and emotions towards life, the country, society and of course “family” The original music by Jeffrey Levin, who also does the sound is hauntingly perfect for the interlude and setting of moods. I will say that having a play in “real time” makes for a different theatrical experience."
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Alan Bresloff

  Sweet and Sad 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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