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Stick Fly
Stick Fly

Stick Fly
Writers Theatre
Thru - Mar 12, 2020

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Show Information

Writers Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Somewhat Recommended

"..."Stick Fly" was, and remains, a sophisticated and complex piece of domestic realism and, to its great credit, a play that was saying many of the things now commonly said on theatrical stages at a time when they were much harder to hear."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times- Highly Recommended

"...Lydia Diamond’s play “Stick Fly” — set in Martha’s Vineyard at the home of a wealthy African American family — premiered at Chicago’s Congo Square Theatre Company in 2006, proved popular with regional theaters, and was produced on Broadway in 2011. The fact that it hasn’t dated much says plenty about the resilience of its sharp perspective on race, class and machismo, as well as the truth of its characters. But perhaps its greatest aesthetic achievement is a careful balance of seriousness and wit, an attribute on full display in this vigorously entertaining production at Writers Theatre directed by Ron OJ Parson."
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Steven Oxman

Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended

"...Diamond's writing works against the grain of the potentially soapy plotlines, and each character gets at least one moment to burst through social constraints to reveal what they're really thinking. (Latimore's Taylor more than the rest.) Old history (familial and otherwise) collides with present-day realities, and by the end of Diamond's wise and funny play (well acted across the board here), everyone's wings have been clipped by reality."
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Kerry Reid

Let's Play at ChicagoNow- Highly Recommended

"...Director Ron OJ Parsons does excellent work adding a few unique additions to the play while keeping its authentic roots designed by the playwright. Parsons has a keen eye for talent and his ability to bring out the best in his actors, which can be seen in the plethora of plays he has directed. Scenic designer Linda Buchanan does an awesome job with the display of fine intricacies in the cottage, shown through artwork, books, and different collections. She also adds that special touch with the sailboat sailing behind the house."
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Rick and Brenda McCain

Around The Town Chicago- Recommended

"...In the majority of plays dealing with the African-American population, we find ourselves feeling sorry for what the world has put upon their plates. Lydia R. Diamond changes all that with her wit and sharp dialogue and shows us the "other" side of life. The side that we don't see on the evening news or read in the headlines. Her play, "Stick Fly" takes us to Martha's Vineyard where the LeVay brothers, Flip ( DiMonte Henning) and Kent (Eric Gerard) are bringing their girlfriends for the week-end. Each has a story and their lady friends, Kimber ( Kayla Raelle Holder) and Taylor ( Jennifer Latimore), truly add to the mix."
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...As Taylor succinctly reminds us (I say "us" because nearly everyone in the audience at the performance I attended was white), it takes more than being a white liberal to be an ally. Our security in our own skin must be stripped away, thrown onto a slide and carefully examined. White privilege oozes. It doesn't sit still. Much like the common fly, it flits, never in one place for too long. And each time it lands, it makes a mess."
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Amanda Finn

Chicago Theatre Review- Recommended

"...Lydia R. Diamond’s play is entertaining. It’s laced with serious conversations and debates, alternating with unexpected moments of comic relief. The plot seems overstuffed with too many intricate discussions about race, culture and entitlement. However, it’s also an interesting look at upper-middle class African-American families. Unfortunately the play often comes off more like a soap opera-like melodrama, than an honest drama, making it a little difficult to take very seriously."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Theater Reviews- Highly Recommended

"..."Stick Fly" will be most appreciated by viewers who enjoy crackling dialogue and performances of spot-on realism. The revelation centering on Cheryl goes on too long and if the playwright chooses to cut her script that's the place to start. But mostly Diamond's writing is articulate and stimulating and the familiarity of the dysfunctional tropes in the narrative is a minor price to pay for the vibrant dialogue vibrantly performed. The play's title refers to the practice of entomologist Taylor gluing house flies to a stick so she can study the insect's speedy flying patterns. Its precise relevance to the storyline eluded me."
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Dan Zeff Highly Recommended

"...In Diamond's Stickfly, receiving a stellar production at Writers Theatre, we become a fly on the wall for a combative and contentious family battle, one that veers toward ugly, and delves into family secrets perhaps better left unspoken."
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Wesley David

Chicago Theater and Arts- Highly Recommended

"...Directed by Ron OJ Parson (WT's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, East Texas Hot links), the play moves rapidly through witty observations, acrid arguments and family dynamics influenced by culture and class."
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Jodie Jacobs

Chicago On Stage- Highly Recommended

"...Lydia Diamond’s 2006 play Stick Fly is a beautifully written, complicated study of the intersection of family dynamics, racism, sexual politics, class differences, academia, and fathers (both absent and not), among other things. With all that going on, perhaps “complicated” is an understatement. Fundamentally, though, Stick Fly is more personal than that. Though it takes place at the Martha’s Vineyard summer home of the family of a wealthy Black doctor, Diamond’s play focuses on two young Black women who are not (yet) a part of that family: the fiancée of his youngest son and the teenager whose mom has worked in the home as a housekeeper for decades. Through these characters, both to a lesser or greater extent outsiders, she is able to highlight the insecurities, secrets, and emotional chasms that exist within any family that wealth and status can’t insure against.x
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Karen Topham

PicksInSix- Highly Recommended

"...Given the play’s trajectory in the top-flight production environments that have preceded it, Diamond’s work is destined to be an important generational drama with a robust performance life all its own. Parson provides an outstanding example with this fast-paced and meticulous production—brimming with relevance and realism—which features Ayanna Bria Bakari in one of the best performances of the year."
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Ed Tracy

Picture This Post- Recommended

"...Amidst the very funny banter, real life truths rear up. You don't have to look too deep. They surface up in Lydia R. Diamond's smart writing. They then linger in the air by Ron Oj Parson's honest direction. You can catch them sneaking in between games of Scrabble, and buried in omitted obituary recognitions, in the lines of novels yet unpublished, and in profound long silences."
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Tonika Todorova

Rescripted- Highly Recommended

"...The performances in the show are driven by a raw emotional truth, which made the stakes in the show so much higher. There were many moments when the audience audibly ooh-ed and ahh-ed as secrets and thoughts of characters were revealed. This speaks to the direction (Ron OJ Parson) of the show itself, and how thorough character intentions were developed and realized by the ensemble."
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Lonnae Hickman