Theatre In Chicago      
Your Source For What's On Stage In Chicago 

   Quick Search
Search by date:

  Simpatico at A Red Orchid Theatre


A Red Orchid Theatre
1531 N. Wells Street Chicago

High society meets low life in the slippery netherworld of thoroughbred racing. This tragic-comedy explodes when a simple phone call threatens to undo years of blackmail and false identities. Loyalties run fierce or run completely a-muck as Vinnie and Carter reunite in hopes of settling an old score.

Thru - Sep 15, 2013

Thursdays: 8:00pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 8:00pm
Sundays: 3:00pm

Price: $30-$40

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 312-943-8722

Running Time: 2hrs, 30mins; one intermission

Nearby Restaurants

  Simpatico Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...for anyone who has watched Michael Shannon and his compatriots at A Red Orchid Theatre for many years, the return of Shannon, now an Oscar nominee and star of "Man of Steel" and "Boardwalk Empire," to the Old Town backroom of his relative youth is endlessly fascinating, not least because this production is so weighty with resonance to the life, times and very different trajectories of this remarkable group of Chicago actors and friends."
Read Full Review

Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...This is certainly not the first time a Chicago theater company has cracked open one of Shepard's plays in ways others have failed to do. But the work of this spectacularly gifted group of veteran Chicago actors is among the most memorable efforts. And having seen the original New York production of "Simpatico" back in 1994, I can attest to the fact that the Red Orchid edition, under the galvanic direction of Dado, is running a theatrical horse race worthy of the legendary Secretariat, and wins by a mile."
Read Full Review

Hedy Weiss

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...The palpable excitement generated by this communal bond elevates Simpatico above a vacation project for actors looking to refresh their chops on home turf to a master class in ensemble dynamics so intoxicating that it's a privilege just to be in the room with it. The entire run may be sold out, but the wait in the stand-by line is worth it."
Read Full Review

Mary Shen Barnidge

Chicago Stage Review - Recommended

"...The performance that carries A Red Orchid's production of Simpatico is not Michael Shannon's bit of awesomeness, but Guy Van Swearingen's. Guy Van Swearingen's take on Vinnie culls elements from classic hard-boiled losers in literature and film. Sometimes he appears to be orchestrating events, sometimes he appears to be completely at the mercy of the world around him. Vinnie is a corkscrew: he twists one way, then pulls perpendicular to it. Guy Van Swearingen plays Vinnie with a lot going on behind his eyes. Vinnie may not be the sharpest thumbtack in the bulletin board, but Van Swearingen makes Vinnie (at times) ruminate at the upper limit of his mental faculty. This is an extraordinary performance by a terrific actor."
Read Full Review

J. Scott Hill

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...It's presumably Shannon's recent celebrity that had Simpatico's entire run essentially sold out before it opened (tickets are now completely gone, but you can try for standby), and the actor delivers in a role that has him ranging from urbane and authoritative, lording it over Van Swearingen's Vinnie in the opening scene, to eventually writhing on the floor in his underwear, just like it was the good old days. Van Swearingen, like Shannon a founding member of the theater, puts in an equally full-bodied performance with a contrary trajectory."
Read Full Review

Kris Vire

ShowBizChicago - Highly Recommended

"..."Simpatico," with direction by Red Orchid's Dado, is now out of the gate and the tragic-comedy set among the backdrop of the thoroughbred racing industry - one with big winners and big losers - is a gripping tale of how love, greed, youth and lust can lead to snap decisions with life-long consequences."
Read Full Review

Joseph Hillenmeyer

Stage and Cinema - Somewhat Recommended

"...Screen star and founding member Michael Shannon (Memphis Belle, Premium Rush, Man of Steel, Boardwalk Empire) plays the initially dominant Lyle Carter, who travels from Midway, Kentucky, where he's a bigass honcho in thoroughbred racing, to Cucamonga, California to help a former friend who holds some threatening secrets. Carter, an imperious mover and shaker, is strangely vulnerable in the presence of putative loser Vinnie Webb (fellow founding member Guy Van Swearingen of The Opponent), a sad sack who eventually makes big."
Read Full Review

Lawrence Bommer

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...Sure Simpatico has some plot problems and some things seem far fetched but the unique characters are so amazingly performed by this fabulous cast making Simpatico a major "must see" theatrical event. You'd be hard pressed to see a finer collection of performances than dado's troupe of players present. Simpatico is one of the finest ensemble pieces seen on a Chicago stage in many a year! A Red Orchid Theatre once again proves that they are one of the finest Equity theatre companies in Chicago."
Read Full Review

Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...In the second act of Simpatico by Sam Shepard, now in a scorching, assured production at A Red Orchid Theatre, there is a scene between two characters who are connected only by the fact that they have both been manipulated by the same men. They meet in a verbal pas de deux by turns creepy, hilarious, and heartbreaking. The big dreams of their misspent youth have shriveled. They are older and definitely worse for the wear, but they know themselves and are working with what they've got. The two characters that form the backbone of the play, two former small-time con artists who can't stop scamming themselves and others, are not so lucky. If, as the play notes, "loss is an elixir," hanging on to the past is poison."

Kerstin Broockmann

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"..."Simpatico" is an absolute jewel to behold - capably staged, superbly acted, and written by one of our very finest playwrights, it is not a show to be missed...though I'll admit, I was not completely sold by the play's conclusion. As I stated before, I'll reveal no details concerning the final act, and how it concludes (or doesn't conclude) certain aspects of the plot, but I couldn't help feeling cheapened by the relatively quick, speedy resolution of the play's considerable themes. Maybe it's because Shepherd spends such time on the earlier portions of the play (the first two scenes, for instance, run for nearly an hour), but the conclusion felt pat, even rushed."

Peter Thomas Ricci

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Recommended

"...Sam Shepard was one of the major American playwrights of the late 1900's, but he has become a rare visitor to local stages in the new millennium. In that sense it's good to have this 1994 work available, especially in the resourceful Red Orchid production. From a dramaturgy standpoint the play is messy but the playwright's characters have that inimitable oddball Shepard flavor, garnished with his pungent dialogue with its off-the-wall humor. The script would profit from more motivational and narrative clarity as well as the liberal employment of a blue pencil, but Shepard is still Shepard, and even a bit off form he's a one of a kind master. The significance of the play's title was lost on me."

Dan Zeff

  Simpatico 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.

Twitter Follow Us On Twitter