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  Sunset Baby at TimeLine Theatre Company

Sunset Baby

TimeLine Theatre Company
615 W. Wellington Ave Chicago

SUNSET BABY explores a woman's journey from a brutal existence to her own liberation. Her father, a former revolutionary in the Black Power movement, has finally come to Brooklyn to mend their relationship. But he is totally unprepared for the hardened, modern woman he finds and is forced to confront his most challenging revolution of all: fatherhood. As father and daughter circle one another, old wounds are revealed, generational differences exposed, and blazing truths laid bare. The Guardian raved that SUNSET BABY is "a play that-like its flawed, complex characters-has a fiercely beating, damaged heart."

Thru - Apr 10, 2016

Wednesdays: 7:30pm
Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 4:00pm & 8:00pm
Sundays: 2:00pm

Price: $38-$51

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-281-8463

Running Time: 1hr, 50mins

Nearby Restaurants

  Sunset Baby Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...Staged in a bowl-like setting from Regina Garcia, Parson's Timeline production is very solid - I'd argue that it could do to be yet more relentless and that the contrasts therein sharper. Those binaries are the deepest you can imagine - love versus hate would be one, and given the ease with which guns are cocked, life versus death. The production still is a tad milquetoast in places and there other spots when the actors don't unfurl Morisseau's intense poetic language with all the fervor it could withstand. Still, "Sunset Baby" is well worth seeing. And White is unstinting."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...Parsons, who has staged superb productions of “A Raisin in the Sun” and a number of August Wilson plays, brings a different sort of feverish intensity to this play. And White’s raw, fearless performance as Anji is simply uncanny as she radically transforms herself from one scene to the next in ways that go far beyond all the superficial changes of outfits, wigs and makeup, and reveals both her character’s knife-like, slutty surface and agonizing vulnerability. It is, quite simply, one of the more breathtaking performances you will see all season."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Tell that to Fred Hampton. Morisseau's inability to distinguish psychobabble from radical politics-or to paint the legacy of the black liberation movement in anything but the broadest of strokes-might be forgivable if it resulted in compelling drama. But her story of Kenyatta's efforts to reconnect with his long-abandoned daughter Nina, now selling small-time drugs with her big-dreaming thug boyfriend Damon, is implausibly contrived to the point of melodrama (the stilted, explain-everything-as-we-go dialogue doesn't help). Director Ron OJ Parson gets searing performances from his cast, then compromises their efforts with unaccountably sluggish pacing."
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Justin Hayford

Windy City Times - Recommended

"...When the mission proves victorious, reparations are easily negotiated, but Dominique Morisseau's willingness to explore the legacy of lost causes marks her as a refreshingly original voice in a genre too often mired down in preconceived platitudes. This refusal to traffic in stereotypes is echoed in Ron OJ Parson's direction of the three talented actors assembled for this Timeline Theatre production, whose uniformly focused intensity keeps our attention riveted through the performance's entire 110 minutes."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"..."Sunset Baby" is written in clashes. Nina and Damon play out a simmering relationship in which his physical dominance and insistent, pleading affection often draw pushback from Nina - until he draws a line, and she, on the safe side of caution, relents. In the finely calibrated physicality of White's performance, it is when acquiescing Nina falls silent that her cry against fate is most piercing. But the girl's confrontations with her father are always open warfare, albeit one-sided. She hisses at him, reviles him, and he patiently endures it all."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...Though stuck in a static situation reserved for emotion more than action, Sunset Baby pulses with the characters’ raw, often righteous, hunger for happiness. Morisseau’s eloquent script inspires passionate performances from three driven actors, their hard-earned lines from the heart as much as the lungs."
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Lawrence Bommer

Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...This is a play that shies as little away from physical contact as it does the brutal realities that wed violence with entrenched poverty. And the gun peeking out of Damon's back pocket even at his most playful I found truly unsettling, reminding me just how unfamiliar my life-and perhaps its too easy pursuit of happiness-has made me with certain dark realities at work a matter of mere miles from my own apartment. In an age when unarmed black men still die every day at the hands of white policemen, happiness sounds a little frothy when justice still seems so far away. For Nina's sake, though, my hope is that she knows both after play's end."

Melissa Wiley

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Finely directed by the always reliable Ron OJ Parson, on a set designed by Regina Garcia, this is 105 minutes (no intermission) of pure story-telling. Kenyatta, who was an activist during the Black Power Movement has come to find his little girl so that he can mend fences so to speak."
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Directed by Ron OJ Parson, one of our city’s indisputable and undersung talents, and performed with edge-of-your-seat intensity by Roston Jr., Phillip Edward Van Lear and Anji White, this is the first great production of 2016. Not so much a dream deferred as an endlessly irreconcilable reality, “Sunset Baby” is as fierce and bright, warm and beautiful as its namesake."
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Kevin Greene

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...This emotionally charged, gut-wrenching production continues TimeLine's legacy, a 19th season of bringing history to life with intelligent excellence. Dominique Morisseau's new play offers thinking audiences a soul-shattering theatrical experience that's bound to stay with them long after the final curtain. This rage-filled stage of characters ultimately offers theatergoers a story of love, trust and forgiveness that surpasses everything they may have thus far known or experienced."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Somewhat Recommended

"...I admired the commitment of the three performers, though I did have problems understanding some of the dialogue. A lot of energy is expended during the 1 hour and 45 minute production (with no intermission) but I rarely felt connected to the characters and their assorted griefs and demands. This is a play that could use a little more work to smooth out the bumps in the script."

Dan Zeff

Chicago Theater Beat - Recommended

"...Sunset Baby provides insight into how a life of hustling can be difficult to escape, how familial strife can be difficult to reconcile, and how dependent relationships can be tenuous. It juxtaposes ideals versus harsh realities and authentically portrays a part of society underrepresented in theatre. This authenticity, while a tremendous strength, might get taken a little too far in some of the scene breaks. TimeLine has authored a very moving, gritty, and engaging production, but with a tweak to the pacing and/or structure, it could play even better."

Keith Glab

Third Coast Review - Recommended

"...Director Ron OJ Parson has crafted a tough, sometimes warm-hearted play about a family torn apart by drugs, crime and broken dreams. Nina lives with Damon (Kelvin Roston Jr.), a street-smart criminal who wants to give Nina the life she desires. His attitude is softening and he may be almost ready to retire from the game. The two of them are saving for their future through drug dealing and other unsavory activities. Although it becomes clear they don’t share the same view of that future."
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Nancy Bishop

  Sunset Baby 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.

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