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  T. at American Theater Company


American Theater Company
1909 W Byron Chicago

"Ice Follies" read the cover of Time Magazine on January 24, 1994, after ice skating medalist favorite Nancy Kerrigan was struck in the leg with a police baton by Shane Stant. In his darkly funny and unrelenting play, Dan Aibel explores the lengths one will go to for fame. Margot Bordelon returns to Chicago to direct this world premiere play named for Tonya Harding, the first woman ever to complete a triple axel jump in competition. Nancy Kerrigan never saw her coming.

Thru - Jun 25, 2017

Price: $20-$38

Show Type: Dark Comedy

Box Office: 773-409-4125

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  T. Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Not Recommended

"...At no point can you imagine that any of these folks would have talked the way Aibel has written their dialogue - in a kind of fractured, distant, satirical, faux-Mametian style that just doesn't work for these kinds of scenes. The alienating effect of the writing is picked up by Bordelon's miscast, dull production, wherein very few scenes connect. And - most troubling of all - you just can't figure out why you are spending your time with these characters. They're not empathetic or even especially interesting in this telling of the story. Harding was indeed emblematic of a deep-seated American prejudice against the working class and the nation's resistance to their attempts to gain entry to the country club. But you just don't feel any symbolic import here - and without that, what's the point?"
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...T does not subscribe to the athletic norm: she drinks, she smokes, she has asthma. She also has her powerful and difficult triple axel (she was the first American woman to land one), something Jeff wants her to avoid on the ice. But, while advice comes to her from many different directions, T does things her way or no way. (Raidt is good with Harding's imagined contemplative side, but she doesn't quite capture the skater's edgy toughness that was so in contrast to Kerrigan's elegant style.)"
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Mary Houlihan

Chicago Reader - Not Recommended

"...Worse still is the relentlessly cartoonish treatment of the characters in Margot Bordelon's 95-minute staging, with its one-step-from-Honey Boo Boo vibe. Talk about magical thinking: After working hard to render practically everybody as ridiculous as possible, Bordelon and Aibel make a last-second bid to turn T. into an American tragedy. Which is what the Tonya Harding story may be, at heart. Just not here."
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Tony Adler

Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...The terrific Massey and Whelden are only given scraps of characters to work with, and Ravelson winds up playing up Jeff's oddball qualities for lack of more interesting choices. Simpkins is more strongly grounded, as she so often is, but here that leaves her feeling outside of the play's indistinct world. Raidt, asked to play a version of Harding that barely seems to have an inner life, finds what she can, but she's hamstrung; she might as well be skating with a broken lace."
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Kris Vire

Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...The closing of American Theater Company’s Season 32, under new artistic direction from Will Davis, tackles one of the biggest scandals in modern sports. Davis comments that Aibel considers T. as a historical play and has been “fascinated by the ways Jeff Gillooly's story follows a classic narrative of ambition and failure.” As 24-hour news coverage emerge, the notorious drama exposes a couple hungry for success by any means necessary."

Mary Crylen

Chicago Theatre Review - Recommended

"...This brisk new one-act, by emerging new playwright Dan Aibel, is fast-paced and acerbic. It barks and bites while remaining stylish and flashy, thanks to the expert direction of Margot Bordelon. While loosely based upon a real life tragic incident within the sporting world, Aibel's play tells a familiar story of underdogs attempting to rise above their humdrum, mediocre lives and into the spotlight of fame and fortune. Nothing, short of assault and battery, is ever ruled out and, in this moralistic story, the lies and fabrications are eventually exposed."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Not Recommended

"..."T." was doomed from the start by the script, and the ATC production does nothing to redeem the work. The cast gets through the evening adequately but neither the performers nor the director are able to salvage a play that was stillborn upon delivery. It's no disgrace for a world premiere to require additional work shopping or tweaking to enhance its artistic and commercial chances. But "T." needs a complete rethink, and even then, I don't think so."

Dan Zeff

Picture This Post - Somewhat Recommended

"..."T." features some good work both behind the scenes and on stage; however, without a central question guiding the production, it doesn't quite stick the landing."
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Brent Ervin-Eickhoff

  T. 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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