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  Southern Comfort at Pride Arts Center - The Broadway

Southern Comfort

Pride Arts Center - The Broadway
4139 N. Broadway Chicago

In SOUTHERN COMFORT, Robert, a transgender man living in rural Georgia among his chosen family of mostly transgender friends, has one final wish after receiving life-altering news. He wishes to make it to the annual Southern Comfort Transgender Conference he has attended with his friends for years, so he can dance at the ball with his newly-discovered love, Lola. While Robert attempts to live his life as fully as possible surrounded by those he loves, his friends struggle to process what will inevitably come. This heartwarming musical with a lush folk/bluegrass score is based on the award-winning 2001 Sundance Film Festival documentary of the same title.

Thru - Mar 31, 2019

Price: $25-$40

Show Type: Musical

Box Office: 773-857-0222

  Southern Comfort Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...While there are a number of robust performances by trans actors playing trans characters, the show-stopping moments belong to Leigh, whose take on Lola brilliantly encapsulates the shifts in vulnerability that come with self-actualization. Her comedic timing whips air into tense moments, but it's her conversation with Eads's parents towards the end of the show that recently left a Sunday-matinee audience utterly intoxicated, in big, ugly tears."
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KT Hawbaker

Windy City Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...Rather a tear-jerker, the thin story is the problem with Southern Comfort as a vehicle. It references many issues-family rejection, work-place discrimination, self-acceptance, fear, sexuality ( apart from gender ), medical discrimination ( a dozen doctors/hospitals refused to treat Eads )-but addresses none deeply. Apart from Robert's obvious illness, nothing happens in Act I until the close, when Robert and Jackson fall out over Jackson's decision to complete reassignment surgery ( using his own money ) with a phalloplasty. Robert's opposition isn't explained and comes from nowhere, so it feels forced. Jackson has been critical of Lola-also forced and unmotivated-but that's not an apparent factor in his argument with Robert. The issues involving gender reassignment-surgical and otherwise-barely are discussed, leaving cis viewers uninformed ... but perhaps that needs to be another show."
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Jonathan Abarbanel

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...If the original Off-Broadway production at the Public Theater was criticized for using cisgender performers, that's not the case with Pride Arts Center's local premiere. All five transgender characters are played by trans actors, adding authenticity to accuracy."
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Lawrence Bommer

Around The Town Chicago - Recommended

"...Very often, I am asked about the smaller theaters that are difficult to find. It has been a while since I have been to a play on Broadway ( yes, Virginia, we do have a Broadway in Chicago) but tonight I journeyed over to Pride Films & Plays Center's Broadway Theater, located in yet another Chicago "storefront" at 4139 N. Broadway. They are doing the Chicago premiere of "Southern Comfort", a musical based on a film documentary that tells the story of a transgender self-made community living life on their own terms in rural Georgia. With a book and lyrics by Dan Collins and music by Julianne Wick Davis, this musical is filled with Blue Grass music, and while you will not be humming as you leave the theater, you will have a good feeling as the characters find some happiness."
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago - Recommended

"...Despite the overarching and ever-present danger of the environment, this is an intimate story that drips of optimism, a celebration of camaraderie and community. Sunday dinner is a joyous ritual with hot dogs on the grill, cold brews in the cooler, and cuisine that is unique to the South, like jello molds. What is lost in the disappointment of blood family is regained through bonds of friendship and celebrated in songs like "Chosen Family.""
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Sheri Flanders

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...This show, which might not be everyone's cup of tea, is heartfelt and enlightening. The production forces audiences to think, empathize and be aware of the daily struggle that the transgender population endures, as they attempt to simply be themselves and live honest lives of dignity. Spending a couple hours with this group of folks who love and support one another, and have chosen to be a family, will have a lasting effect on every theatergoer."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Musical Theatre - Recommended

"...Indeed, this is no mere musical. And it may not be perfect. But the truth of Pride’s Southern Comfort, as is the mission of this company dedicated to the LGBT community, is its authenticity, evident in every dadgum aspect of the show. Because of that, it might just make some people find their better selves."
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Barry Reszel

Chicago On Stage - Highly Recommended

"...Southern Comfort is a powerful, emotional play and clearly an act of love for this cast and director. On press night, there were some sound issues that will undoubtedly be corrected, but they did not detract from the compelling subject matter and excellent performances. In an era in which too many of our politicians are indeed judging transgender people "by just some of (their) parts," in which the government is attempting to "erase" them from existence by redefining male and female, in which its policies toward them are being (quite literally) written by a recognized right wing hate group, we need a play like this one as a reminder that these are, after all, just people. They are people who are simply attempting to be true to themselves in a society that is not all that forgiving of anything remotely unusual. What the characters in this play desire is love and family, and Robert Eads brought it to them, creating a family that may occasionally disagree (like all families) but that inevitably is bonded by something even more powerful than blood: choice. "
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Karen Topham

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