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  Sense and Sensibility at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Sense and Sensibility

Chicago Shakespeare Theater
800 East Grand Avenue Chicago

Jane Austen's deliciously charming romance is full of wit, passion and now, glorious song. This world premiere musical from Tony Award-nominated composer Paul Gordon was specially commissioned by CST for the 2014/15 Season. Under the masterful hand of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines, beautiful melodies trace the lives of Elinor and Marianne Dashwood-two sisters whose fortunes change following their father's untimely death. One cool and deliberate, the other consumed by youthful passion, their quest for suitable husbands unfolds in a period-perfect production that will set your spirits soaring.

Thru - Jun 14, 2015

Price: $48-$78

Show Type: Musical

Box Office: 312-595-5600

Running Time: 2hr, 25mins; one intermission

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  Sense and Sensibility Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...But underneath all of that is a story of financial fragility. The individuals in Austen's story have more economic boom-and-bust cycles than Groupon. Austen's notion of "sense" meant, really, money. At its core, "Sense and Sensibility" is about the perils of reckless women marrying for money, along with the perils of reckless women marrying not for money. It's a proto-feminist work, in that it highlights the economic dilemmas of women looking for marriage, and in its portrait of the mutual loyalty and affection of its very charming heroines, Marianne and Elinor Dashwood."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...Words (as well as the loss of them) are crucial in Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility.” And now, in Paul Gordon’s musical version of the 19th century novel, which is receiving a flawless world premiere by the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Austen’s prose has been so seamlessly expanded into song that it is often difficult to know where language ends and music begins."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Jane Austen is not a writer whose work you'd automatically consider as material for a full-blown, unironic musical. It's true that all six of her books center around the marriage plot, and there's usually a large and colorful supporting cast, including someone who can be counted on to play the pianoforte at a party, and sometimes one of the heroes will even say or write something absolutely swoon-worthy like "You pierce my soul.""
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Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...Gordon’s score occasionally finds a clever idea, like Brandon’s wry number about being on the “Wrong Side of Five & Thirty,” but leans too heavily on them when it does. For the most part, the music blurs together into an indistinguishable mass of soaring notes endlessly reprised. And Gordon’s book, with a sitcom-y quippiness that wouldn’t have been out of place in ’90s-era Must-See TV, reveals an all too modern sensibility."
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Kris Vire

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...You can just as easily chart a path from Austen to Sondheim as you can from Austen to Disney, and thus it is not surprising that Chicago Shakespeare Theater artistic director Barbara Gaines should spearhead the world premiere production of Paul Gordon's diverting new musical based on Austen's first published novel, "Sense and Sensibility." It's the astonishingly vital story of two sisters of marriageable age - one a yin to the other's yang - in the 1790s."
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Nancy Malitz

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...Since this is vintage Austen, Sense and Sensibility is a mating ritual hidden in a drawing-room comedy of errors. The author’s acute anatomy of love and passion’s false equivalents takes center stage: By process of elimination, freeing themselves of bad first impressions and the usual pride and prejudice, the Dashwood sisters discover their dreams in the right soulmates. The first-act ending “Somewhere in Silence” best paints the process–heart and head collaborating in the labor of love."
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Lawrence Bommer

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...I'm sure that Austen fans are already planning to see this new musical, but I want to assure people unfamiliar with Sense and Sensibility that they will have a good time, too. The central characters, female and male, are complex enough for everyone to find someone to identify with, and a few paragraphs in the program provide all the help you'll need keeping the plot straight."
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Jacob Davis

Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...This show will go far. All of us Austen fans will savor this retelling, and those new to the author will go along for the very enjoyable ride. Some of us will be going more than once to this dazzling charmer."

Angela Allyn

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Viewing a "chamber musical' is indeed a marvelous experience. These are very small scale musicals, often transformed from a well known play into a musical. Jane Austen's classic novel, "Sense and sensibility", a truly romantic story, that women have loved for eons, was probably the ideal candidate for being taken to this level. Commissioned by Chicago Shakespeare Theater, with a book and music and lyrics by Paul Gordon and under the direction of Barbara Gaines, the World Premiere that graced the stage at CST at Navy Pier, is an amazing sight to behold."
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Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...Barbara Gaines’ exceptionally well-directed production of Paul Gordon’s latest musical would make Jane Austen proud. The author loved music and theater and she would’ve been delighted to see her characters brought to life with all the truth and humanity found in her novel. An exquisitely expressive score, that’s beautiful all on its own, seamlessly flows from Austen’s own words. With a cast of talented actor/singers breathing life into these characters in a production that’s so honest and visually breathtaking that it must be seen to be appreciated, Chicago Shakespeare’s latest offering is a must-see musical premiere that will charm audiences with the warmth and promise of Springtime."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Recommended

"...The strength of the CST presentation resides in its fine front-line performances by Sharon Rietkerk as Elinor Dashwood and Megan McGinnis as Marianne. Rietkerk beautifully portrays Elinor as a model of restraint while capturing the sensitivity of the woman beneath her outward moderation. McGinnis's Marianne wears her emotions boldly and proudly without turning the young lady into a foolish figure of fun. And both performers sing beautifully."

Dan Zeff

The Fourth Walsh - Highly Recommended

"...Want to fall in love this spring? SENSE AND SENSIBILITY will sweep you off your feet. It is an elegant rom-com. Instead of a catchy soundtrack, it has a soulful melody performed by an orchestra (music direction by Laura Bergquist). All the characters have depth and personality. And the ending will win over even the love-challenged curmudgeons amongst us. It is… lovely just lovely!"
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Katy Walsh

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   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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