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  Something Clean at Victory Gardens Theater - Biograph

Something Clean

Victory Gardens Theater - Biograph
2433 N. Lincoln Ave Chicago

Charlotte has been a mother for nineteen years, a wife for three decades and a respectable community member her entire life. But when her son is incarcerated for sexual assault, Charlotte is forced to reckon with a brand new identity, both public and private. Desperate to find a way back to who she was, she seeks out work at a sexual assault crisis center and meets Joey, a volunteer coordinator and a survivor of assault himself, who allows her a glimpse of who she might be able to become. Can she find a new understanding of who she is? Or has someone else's crime defined her forever? Inspired by today's headlines, Selina Fillinger's breathtaking new drama follows one woman's struggle to make sense of her own grief, intimacy, culpability and consent.

Presented by Sideshow Theatre Company & Rivendell Theatre Ensemble

Thru - Jul 21, 2019

Thursdays: 8:00pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 8:00pm
Sundays: 2:30pm

Price: $20-$30

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-871-3000

Victory Gardens Theater - Biograph Seating Chart

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  Something Clean Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...As I noted in 2017, Fillinger is a significant talent who knows how to home in on a complex issue by looking at it from a perspective that may not be obvious at first. And although the end is a tad prolonged and overwrought, Shouse’s production is both artful and emotionally resonant. The show offers a lot to think about and generally is empathetic to the many humans who invariably get caught up when a loved person commits a crime; the work, which has stayed with me, also puts you in fevered mind of issues of recompense and reconciliation and the limits of the human impulse to put things right. Sometimes the attempt can cause only additional offense."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Lauren Shouse's taut staging brings out the best in all three actors. However, there are some narrative elements that strain credulity—mostly, that Joey never delves too deeply into Charlotte's real identity (she goes by "Charlie") or recognizes her from the media-saturated trial of her son. The cleansing metaphors (Charlotte is a neat freak—bad luck for someone whose life has gone to shit) also get heavy-handed. But Something Clean gets some good shots in at quick-fix concepts of closure, healing, and even justice itself. We learn that Charlotte told her son's jury that "a few moments of poor judgment do not erase everything a person was or define what he will be." By the end, it's clear that she needs to find a new way to define herself, away from the men in her life she's never fully understood."
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Kerry Reid

Windy City Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...Many plays deal with couples drifting/growing apart, often without a specific crisis. Sarah Ruhl's The Vibrator Play comes to mind. Indeed, Ruhl's play ends as Something Clean ends, with the couple tentatively making a new start. But the son's crisis in Something Clean is an excuse, not a reason, and is unnecessary therefore. Charlotte and Doug would have reached the tipping point sooner or later, as I have observed firsthand."
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Jonathan Abarbanel

Around The Town Chicago - Recommended

"...Charlotte was a good mother ( at least she always felt she was) and a wonderful and loving wife ( again, she thought she was), but this situation has changed all that. Her relationship with her husband is just that they live under the same roof. How can they ever be whole again? How can a mother make sense of what her child has done? And, is she the cause or root of that problem? There are a few holes in the writing of this play, but the actors are able to help us understand the direction of the playwright."
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Alan Bresloff - Highly Recommended

"...Something Clean, directed by Lauren Shouse, gives us a compelling story, very well acted, and with that touch of magic that comes from a great chemistry in the performers."
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Bill Esler

Picture This Post - Recommended

"...SOMETHING CLEAN is richly written and sensitively produced. Its core question -- how do we know when and if and how someone wants intimacy with another person? – is worthy of attention."
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Susan Lieberman

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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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