Listen to "Talk Theatre In Chicago" for an interview with director Jimmy McDermott, puppet artist Michael Montenegro and actor Larry Neumann, Jr. as they talk about "The Puppetmaster of Lodz" Stream or Download MP3 ">
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  The Puppetmaster of Lodz at Writers Theatre

The Puppetmaster of Lodz

Writers Theatre
325 Tudor Court Glencoe

Finkelbaum, a once revered puppetmaster, has barricaded himself in an attic after escaping from Auschwitz. It is now 1950 and the war has been over for five years. Not convinced that the allied troops have ended the war, the puppetmaster sees any attempt to lure him out of his room as merely a ruse to recapture him. Meanwhile he prepares for his greatest puppet show ever - the story of his life - while recreating his loved ones as puppets, and reaching out for understanding amidst the confusion. Ultimately hopeful, moving and eminently theatrical, this beautifully articulated story will enjoy heightened poignancy upon our stage.

Listen to "Talk Theatre In Chicago" for an interview with director Jimmy McDermott, puppet artist Michael Montenegro and actor Larry Neumann, Jr. as they talk about "The Puppetmaster of Lodz" Stream or Download MP3

Thru - Jul 15, 2007

Price: $45-$58

Stage: 664 Vernon Avenue

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 847-242-6000

Running Time: 2hrs 15mins

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  The Puppetmaster of Lodz Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...the play is mostly a monologue, delivered by Neumann as he dances between his silent puppets. It's a formidably challenging role and the actor has resolved many, but not all, of its demands. He surely has captured the character's gruff isolation, his lonely eccentricity and his desperation to shut out the world. And his manipulation of the puppets is superb."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...First produced in the 1980s, "Puppetmaster" (with an English translation by Sara O'Connor) has arrived here with meticulous, absurdist-tinged direction of Jimmy McDermott, an altogether peerless performance by actor Larry Neumann Jr. as Finkelbaum and eerily poetic puppets by Michael Montenegro."
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Hedy Weiss

Daily Herald - Highly Recommended

"...How does a Holocaust survivor restore his faith in God? How does a man retain his humanity in the face of such horror? And how does the artist respond to it all? Those are the questions underscoring Gilles Segal's riveting drama about a Jewish artist and puppeteer who escapes from a concentration camp and hides for years in an attic apartment unwilling to believe the war is over. Larry Neumann Jr. gives a tour-de-force performance as the puppetmaster Finkelbaum."

Barbara Vitello

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...What makes this piece compelling is the room it allows Larry Neumann Jr. simply to inhabit Finkelbaum inhabiting his flat--telling his loving, painful tale with the help of Michael Montenegro's miraculous rag-and-wire puppets."

Tony Adler

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...Director Jimmy McDermott guides his powerful ensemble through the dramatic and emotional highs of the play quite well. Neumann, as Finkelbaum, gets a particularly wrenching workout—not only physically manipulating the puppets, but emotionally as well."
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Scott C. Morgan

Chicago Free Press - Somewhat Recommended

"...Regrettably, this slow reveal of the reality of the Puppetmaster’s situation can drag on. Especially as director Jimmy McDermott and Neumann don’t fully mine the opportunities for comic relief provided for by the at times silly turn of the puppet stories and the Puppetmaster’s own obvious sense of humor."

Jenn Q. Goddu

EpochTimes - Highly Recommended

"...Many Chicago area theater patrons have witnessed some fine performances by Larry Neumann, Jr. over the years, but the role he is presently playing in Writers' Theatre's Chicago premiere of "The Puppetmaster of Lodiz" is by far his greatest challenge and he handles it to perfection."

Al Bresloff

Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...If the difference between enacting and describing is the difference between creating theater and not, Puppetmaster is really not. Ségal’s play about an Auschwitz survivor lacks the courage and imagination to enact the experience it politely, tangentially describes."
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Novid Parsi

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...Let me just state that this subtle yet masterful work will penetrate deeply into your soul. We witness both the frailty and strength of the human spirit through Finkelbaum’s trauma. The Puppetmaster of Lodz is an ultimately hopeful and eminently theatrical, poignant and articulate masterpiece."
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Tom Williams

   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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