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  Season On The Line Reviews
Season On The Line
Season On The Line

Season On The Line
The House Theatre of Chicago at Chopin Theatre
Thru - Oct 26, 2014

Show Information


The House Theatre of Chicago at Chopin Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Recommended

"...The best material, and there is a lot of good and really funny stuff, is that edgy, gritty, dangerous content. At times, director Jess McLeod's production, although likable, just is not gritty enough. If you're going to go to these places, there is no point in demurring nor embracing the sanctuary of stereotypes. Go for the jugulars folks, and bare your own."
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Chris Jones



Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended

"...Jess McLeod's sharply articulated production fills the House Theatre of Chicago stage with vivid characters, from the big, inscrutable galoot of a set builder (Christopher M. Walsh) to Ben's bizarre guru (Tiffany Yvonne Cox), who looks like Diana Ross and talks like Oprah's unhinged sister. Thomas J. Cox's Ben is so gracefully built that you never quite notice that he's turned from a big personality into a monster until it's too late. Ty Olwin is just the right amount of wide-eyed as Bad Settlement's Ishmael. The 200-minute running time may sound long, but I can't imagine what I'd cut."
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Tony Adler



Windy City Times- Recommended

"..."Ambitious" is a term often invoked as a euphemism for "biting off more than you can chew," and while the messiness of House Theatre's final preview was undeniable, it's no crime for a playwright's reach to exceed his grasp. There's no shortage of theater companies undone by fish stories initiated with far less potential than evident in Pfautsch's merely unfinished epic."
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Mary Shen Barnidge



Gapers Block- Recommended

"...The actors, all 18 of them, do an inspired job of moving the three acts along briskly. Among many fine performances are Olwin as the Ishmael-like narrator, Cox as the director and Andy Lutz as Peter Trellis, actor and Gilead director. The multi-talented Danny Bernado is charming, graceful and funny as Kaku, playing many Bad Settlement roles. Maggie Kettering is excellent as the stage manager, as is Abu Ansari as a Ugandan actor who is cast as Gatsby and provides a voice of reason throughout the play."
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Nancy Bishop



Time Out Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...The piece’s Ahab is artistic director Ben Adonna (Thomas J. Cox), monomaniacally obsessed with his season-concluding adaptation of Moby-Dick. In the early scenes he phones into production meetings from his writing room, or blow in like a hurricane through another director’s rehearsal. As his show gets nearer, he alienates and annoys everyone in the company, cannibalizing resources from other productions to pay for his own. Pfautsch’s metaphor falters a bit with the third-act reveal of the true nature of Ben’s white whale. Or perhaps not, illustrating as it does that Ben has lost all perspective, forgetting why he set sail in the first place."
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Kris Vire



Stage and Cinema- Highly Recommended

"...In a conversation with the narrator, the critic explains that there are three kinds of theatrical performances: The infrequent utterly and irredeemably bad; the frequent middling shows that he has to decide whether to praise or condemn; and the rare great. I can state with confidence that Season on the Line is one of the great."
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Erika Mikkalo



ChicagoCritic- Highly Recommended

"...For a show with 3 one hour acts and 2 fifteen minute intermissions, I have to say that I was surprisingly enthralled. Most people wouldn’t have the attention span to sit through three hours. I know that I normally don’t, but it didn’t seem to matter with Season on the Line. The symbolic representation between the actual Moby Dick and Season on the Line is so well thought out and accurate. This show has prompted me to actually go back and re-read Moby Dick. If there were anything I could change it would be the run time (or maybe the pool), but I don’t even know how you’d manage to shorten it. Every little detail is masterfully represented and would lose so much artistic worth if it were cut at all. Don’t let the length deter you from this show, but before you go buy tickets for the whole family you should know that this play is wrought with sexual innuendo, some language, and some intense moments. Season on the Line is an honest, accurate, and romantic look at what life is like behind the curtain and it shows us just how stressful that life can be. I just hope this goes to show that not all of us reviewers have nothing but bad things to say, I promise!"
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John Stuckert



Chicago Stage Standard- Highly Recommended

"...Season on the Line, though epic, is well worth the investment of time and price of admission. If you've spent much time in the theater, either in the industry or as a spectator, you will recognize and appreciate (laugh at) the truths told in the wreck of the now-defunct Bad Settlement Theater by the ASM who spent a season there. If not, there are plenty of questions to ponder about the purpose of doing theater, or anything for that matter. This Season is a rich homage to theater, community, and passion and it is told with infectious energy and humor by the still-going-strong House Theater folks."

Kerstin Broockmann



Around The Town Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...In order of publication, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick is the first candidate for “The Great American Novel,” and as Mark Twain once said of classics “It is a book that everybody talks about, but nobody has read” Thus, taking the novel as a framework for a meta-theatrical play, and turning Melville’s narrative into a story about a theatre company with its very own Ismael and Captain Ahab was a pretty gutsy move, but Chopin Theatre’s production of “Season On The Line” is, for the most part, extremely successful."
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Lawrence Riordan



Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended

"...This is the second in a series of plays to be seen around Chicago that are based on Melville’s Moby Dick. It’s quite a different piece of theatre and, like most the House’s productions, exciting, often funny and very, very thought-provoking. For members of the theatre community, this show is a definite must-see; for everyone else, it’s a production that will both entertain and educate, while providing every theatergoer with a shipload of ideas to ponder and more fun than a pod of whales."
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Colin Douglas



The Fourth Walsh- Somewhat Recommended

"...I highly recommend SEASON ON THE LINE for actors, designers, directors and playwrights. You are the target audience and will be hysterically entertained. I somewhat recommend SEASON ON THE LINE for the general public. Your engagement will be similar to watching a painter paint or a writer write. You will be amused for a while but you won’t completely get the inside jokes. And this exclusion will reinforce why some of us prefer to experience the art after it has been created."
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Katy Walsh