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  The North Plan Reviews
The North Plan
The North Plan

The North Plan
Theater Wit
Thru - Mar 31, 2012

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Theater Wit

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Recommended

"...Overall, such moments of political potency take a back seat to the theatrical entertainment — "The North Plan," staged on Jack Magaw's detailed set, goes only so deep. And Senior has not solved one of the main problems that emerged in the first production: How to sustain in very close theatrical quarters a long second-act sequence in which someone is always holding someone else at gunpoint. There are sections here where you know that Buddeke's Tanya could be disarmed, just as you know that her stealthy movements would be visible to the characters from whom she supposedly is hiding. Such contrivances pull you out of the show, and those scenes need a lot more work."
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Chris Jones



Chicago Reader- Somewhat Recommended

"...Directed, like the First Look version, by Senior, the Theater Wit production discloses a few of the holes in The North Plan and opens one or two new ones. Probably the biggest problem is that Carlton's mission makes no sense in the current tech environment, where—as WikiLeaks and the Arab Spring have so vividly demonstrated—anyone can be a journalist, strategist, propagandist, whistle-blower, saboteur, and international hero as long as he doesn't let his battery run low. If there's a reason why Carlton can't carry out his part of the revolution with a cell phone, I didn't catch it."
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Tony Adler



Windy City Times- Highly Recommended

"...Kate Buddeke takes on the catalytic role of the salty-talking Tanya, originated by Jennifer Engstrom in the 2010 First Look premiere, flanked by Will Zahrn as the avuncular sheriff, Tom Hickey as the weasely Fed and Brian King as the latter's jealous second-in-command, reprising their First Look roles. If newcomers Kevin Stark and Lucy Sandy rendered the fugitive Carlton and bewildered Shonda a trifle nebulous on this Theatre Wit production's opening night, that's forgivable when your scenario mandates high-speed sneaks, juggles, overlapping dialogue and the brandishing of lethal weapons. Still, before dismissing Wells as a purveyor of cynical slapstick satires dependent on directors and fight choreographers for their success—in this case, Kimberly Senior and Chris Rickett—naysayers might recall that the career of Pulitzer-winning playwright Tracy Letts was launched on just such microcosmic fables as this."
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Mary Shen Barnidge



Centerstage- Recommended

"...Perhaps because act two left me feeling so good, I’m inclined to remember the play as better than it was. But I choose to stick with it because ultimately the play did indeed make me happy, very happy. This is why it’s wonderful to have a better second act then a first act: leave on a high note and you’ll be surprised how long that note will reverberate. If only more playwrights could manage the trick."

Alex Huntsberger



Time Out Chicago- Recommended

"...The action here, given a good deal of menace in Kimberly Senior’s production, raises provocative questions about the use and misuse of the Constitution in our post–September 11, perpetual-war state. But Wells doesn’t probe too deeply, favoring farcical high jinks before coming to an abrupt and unsatisfying end."
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Kris Vire



ChicagoCritic- Highly Recommended

"... With clever plots twists and a few surprises, The North Plan is a fun ride in a dark comedy that is so preposterous thatit could happen in today’s uncertain world. We see how ironic it is that ordinary American folks with their obsessions with guns could foil a right-wing conspiracy. The basic fairness of average folks prevails when government get too paranoid. Kate Buddeke is terrific as the wacky Tanya while Kevin Stark is most effective as the whistle blower. The North Plan is funny,scary,as wellas a cautionary tale -and – it is wonderful theatre.That’s a winning combination."
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Tom Williams



Chicago Stage Standard- Not Recommended

"... “The North Plan” utterly lacks its own plan. It’s almost palpable contempt for its characters inevitably spills over to its audience."

Lawrence Bommer



Around The Town Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...This is roughly 90 minutes of pure fun, but is in two acts ( there is an intermission) so they can change the set from the holding area to that of the office area. Once again, Jack Magaw shows why many of the theaters want him to do their sets..everything fits what one would expect to find in a small town local police department in rural Missouri. Scott Pillsbury’s lighting adds a great touch and Jenny Pinson’s props are perfect. The beauty of being in a 99 seat theater is the intimacy that one feels with the action on the stage and being able to hear every word of the witty script."
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Alan Bresloff