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  Not A Game For Boys Reviews
Not A Game For Boys
A Red Orchid Theatre

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  • Recommended
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Chicago Sun Times- Highly Recommended

"...For the latest evidence of why Chicago theater is the talk of the town both here and in that Tony Awards territory to the east of us, head over to A Red Orchid Theatre in Old Town. There, director Robin Witt (who just happens to be the daughter of veteran actor Howard Witt) has gathered three sensational Chicago actors -- Nigel Patterson, Dan Rivkin and Bob Turton -- who paddle the stuffings out of British playwright Simon Black's Not a Game for Boys."
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Hedy Weiss

Daily Herald- Highly Recommended

"...Part of the reason "Not a Game for Boys" works as well as it does has to do with the satisfying way Block confounds expectations. You suspect the play will end a certain way. But if Block's nicely ambivalent drama -- which recalls Neil LaBute (in its expression of vitriol) and David Mamet (in its explosion of violence) -- doesn't deliver exactly what you expect, it does deliver."
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Barbara Vitello

Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended

"...Although it takes Block the better part of his first act to find real stakes in his characters' predicaments, actors Daniel Rivkin, Nigel Patterson and Bob Turton maintain such unwavering focus that the show builds exquisitely to its harrowing, violent finale."

Justin Hayford

Windy City Times- Somewhat Recommended

"...Written in 1995, Not a Game for Boys is what the Brits call a ďladdish playĒ and we call a buddy play. Its dialogue is forceful, believable and pungently male as it deals in relatively shallow fashion with manhood, friendship and loyalty. The talk is good enough, and the acting more than good enough, to give the appearance of substantial drama but don't be fooled. There's an unnecessary intermission after which author Simon Block ends the play without really resolving character issues or even the story."

Jonathan Abarbanel

Chicago Free Press- Highly Recommended

"...What Block delivers with pungent dialogue and wry psychology is a group portrait of three guys forced to grow when the game can no longer channel their frustrations into beating an opponent. Their reactions tell all. So does Robin Wittís amazing staging of this U.S. premiere where every stunningly real moment turns us into eavesdroppers as much as witnesses. All Nigel Pattersonís Alpha-male bellowing and posturing canít hide Ericís pain over his sick mother and unhappy wife. Not too bright but happily not yet hardened, Bob Turtonís Tony is a bloke who finally knows a good thing when heís got it."
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Lawrence Bommer

Time Out Chicago- Recommended

"...Although Blockís prime-time ready script is encrusted with chunky bits of pretzel salt, itís nonetheless balanced by an unsentimental bitterness. So even if youíve had it before, itís still comfort food."
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Christopher Piatt

ChicagoCritic- Recommended

"...Not A Game For Boys is filled with funny one-liners and stinging male chauvinistic comments as well as poignant scenes depicting the disintegration of the bonds the three part-time athletes once possessed."
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Tom Williams