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  Rose at The Greenhouse Theater Center


The Greenhouse Theater Center
2257 N Lincoln Avenue Chicago

An intimate portrait of Camelot's "queen mother" Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, Rose is an engrossing solo show set in the summer of 1969, just days after her only surviving son, Ted, has been implicated in the drowning of Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick. Alone with her invalid husband in their house in Hyannis Port, Rose attempts to retrace the rise and fall of this great family -- from her husband's infidelity to her daughter Rosemary's tragic lobotomy and, of course, her sons John and Robert Kennedy's assassinations -- as they traversed continents, shaped history and inspired a nation. Rose was written by Kennedy scholar Laurence Leamer, author of the national bestseller The Kennedy Women, and is presented at Greenhouse Theater Center in Chicago.

Thru - Mar 11, 2018

Price: $35-$45

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-404-7336

Running Time: 1hr, 30mins

The Greenhouse Theater Center Seating Charts

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  Rose Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...For one thing, Linda Reiter, the oft-underrated Chicago actress who plays Rose Kennedy, is giving one of the great performances of her unduly modest career; carefully toned, emotional and richly textured, it stacks up against anything you would see from a touring star. And the script has a fascinating history. Penned by Laurence Leamer, a distinguished Kennedy biographer in his own right, the piece is based on the 40 hours or more of taped interviews conducted by Robert Coughlan, the ghostwriter of Rose Kennedy's 1974 memoir. Coughlan died in 1992 and Leamer got the boxes of tapes."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...Leamer’s play, now receiving its Chicago premiere as part of the Greenhouse Theater Center’s Solo Celebration project, is set in the summer of 1969, immediately after “the Chappaquiddick incident.” Rose was 79 when her youngest son, Sen. Ted Kennedy, became somewhat inebriated at a party on that island, and supposedly offered to drive one of his late brother Bobby Kennedy’s campaign workers, Mary Jo Kopechne, to a ferry that would take her back to Martha’s Vineyard. Kopechne died when Kennedy’s car ran off a bridge, and the scandalous assumptions that followed the accident looked as if they might derail Ted’s future. As she waits to hear from her youngest son, who has gone sailing, Rose pages through old photo albums in her sitting room, and recounts her life."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...The Greek connection is apt. Rose's husband, Joe, grew rich by offending decency if not the gods, only to see his children overtaken by horror after horror. But Leamer doesn't demonstrate the courage of his metaphor. He and director Steve Scott conclude the piece on a feel-good note that negates all that's gone before. The compensation is Linda Reiter's performance as steely, angry 79-year-old Rose, encased in survivor's armor she can no longer bear."
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Tony Adler

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...Leamer's previous training as a writer of prose rather than plays is evident in his hackneyed implementation of photo albums as a device for delivering exposition, and his subject's occasional lapses into oratory—speaking, for example, of a funeral attended by "the poor, the weak, the downtrodden" ( how often do you hear the word "downtrodden" in everyday conversation? ). In the hands of director Steve Scott and actor Linda Reiter, however, the regrets and remorse suffered by this matriarch in her twilight years are vividly manifested in her chronicle, commanding—if not our undiluted approval—our sympathies and, ultimately, our absolution."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

ShowBizChicago - Highly Recommended

"...Linda Reiter who plays Rose Kennedy is Rose Kennedy is exquisite. The audience is convinced that they are with the Kennedy matriarch and feels what she is feeling. In public, Rose Kennedy was very guarded. However, during this production Lieber and Director Steven Scott show Rose's strength, emotions and frustrations. Scott's flawless direction brought reality to this amazing production. This play is filled with so much power and emotion and Linda Reiter succeeds in convincing the audience that they are in Rose Kennedy's Hyannis Port living room. As Rose is looking through the photo albums, the photos are projected on a curtain to the back of the stage, so the audience becomes part of the experience of viewing the albums. This is a very nice touch from the Director, Steven Scott and Scenic Designer, Kevin Hagan. All of these elements bring forth a successful production of ROSE."
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Russell Goeltenbodt

Theatre By Numbers - Recommended

"...The automatic prestige of a show like "Rose", and the easy parallels to epic Greek tragedies are what make this production so easily producible. The real-life drama is bursting at the seams, and the scenery comes ready-to-chew by an astoundingly effective Linda Reider, holding court as Rose. She is so intent on inspiring only admiration and respect for her distinguished clan, that her true feelings come upon her by complete surprise; "I am angry - and I never feel angry," she admits. Complete strength and poise are the only things to convey when you have everything. Never doubt. Never despair."
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Sean Margaret Wagner

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...This 90-minute immersion, reprised by Greenhouse Theater Center after its Jeff Award-winning production a year ago, again spotlights Linda Reiter as the very reincarnation of the Earth Mother of the Kennedy clan. It's a magnetic performance - unflinchingly honest (which is to say intensely conflicted), elegantly modulated and disarmingly authentic. Reiter even resembles Rose Kennedy."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Stage and Cinema - Highly Recommended

"...Linda Reiter feelingly depicts a power parent who put the labor in love. Both firm and fragile, with grit and gratitude, her Rose by any other name would be as strong. At the very end Reiter's magnificent and literal apostrophe to the Kennedy constellation above-from which so many stars had fallen-is a captivating catharsis after a shattering confession."
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Lawrence Bommer

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...Younger theatre patrons will gain knowledge of the Kennedy's as well as experience a fabulous performance by one of Chicago's finest actresses. Reiter demonstrates that an effective performance need not be loud nor obnoxious."
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Tom Williams

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Directed by Steve Scott and starring the remarkable Linda Reiter as Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, this is 90 minutes of pure artistry. Presented in the larger venue downstairs, they have still made the piece intimate enough so that we can watch every reaction as Rose reviews her life and the children she and her husband had. The time is right after the Teddy incident and she is awaiting his return to their Hyannisport home. The Kennedy family changed the outlook on politics during their period of history. Many young people, who only know bits and pieces, may find this look at the "Royal Family" of American politics more of a soap opera than history. In fact, the Kennedy family of the 1960's could easily be compared to one of today's TV reality show family's."
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Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...Audiences will come away from the evening's performance with a new appreciation for this wonderful woman. It's a portrait of a strong, admirable woman who held an important place in American history. Rose continually maintains that, in spite of everything, she was completely fulfilled by her role as a wife, mother and homemaker. In Steve Scott's thoughtfully-directed production, especially due to Linda Reiter's inspiring performance, audiences will remember Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy as a great lady who placed family above all else."
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Colin Douglas

Third Coast Review - Highly Recommended

"...The story of the Kennedy family is relevant today in many ways. The three Kennedys who held public office were considered intelligent, capable public servants (except of course by their detractors). Robert Kennedy probably would have been elected president had he not been assassinated in June 1968 in mid-campaign. We know more now about family scandals that were only whispered about at the time. In this era of way-too-much-information, we might still ignore the rumors, because the Kennedys were our royalty."
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Nancy Bishop

The Hawk Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...Yet, for all the noteworthy work that this oft-told tale does to present our story from a new perspective, I still found myself wondering, "is this the most important story to tell?" Perhaps it's simply because of the play's quick remount or maybe it's symptomatic of watching my mother mourn a man she did not know, but this retelling still manifests as a part of the Kennedy infatuation. One which, to my generation, does not seem as paramount as others yet to be shared. "

Emily Schmidt

Chicago On Stage - Highly Recommended

"...A chill, snowy night in Chicago was warmed considerably for this reviewer by the chance to see Greenhouse Theatre's revival of last year's hit Rose, written by Lawrence Leamer, starring Linda Reiter (who won the Jeff Award for this performance) and directed by Steve Scott. Having missed it the first time around, I was extremely grateful that this acclaimed production was getting another run, though a bit confused as to why it might happen so soon. That confusion was alleviated by Greenhouse Artistic Director Jacob Harvey in a program note. He discusses the fact that the first run was mounted as everyone involved believed they were about to witness the election of the first female President."
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Karen Topham

  Rose 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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