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  Tea with Edie and Fitz at The Greenhouse Theater Center

Tea with Edie and Fitz

The Greenhouse Theater Center
2257 N Lincoln Avenue Chicago

Tea with Edie and Fitz chronicles the tempestuous meeting of literary icons Edith Wharton (Patti Roeder) and F. Scott Fitzgerald (Madison Niederhauser) at her estate for tea in the 1920s. In scenes that jump backward and forward chronologically and span the entire globe (from glittering expatriate Paris to roaring post-WWI Manhattan), the play examines the lives of two authors at the height of their powers and imagines what may have happened in that meeting that led them to never speak again. Particular attention is paid to their relationships with their equally legendary partners: Fitzgerald and his beautiful and troubled Southern wife, Zelda (Nora Ulrey), and Wharton with the ghost of her mentor and longtime companion Henry James (Michael D. Graham). Tea with Edie and Fitz calls into question themes of gender, sanity, time, the purpose of art and the nature of love and loss.

Presented by Dead Writers Theatre Collective

Thru - Jun 9, 2013



Price: $15-$30

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-404-7336

Running Time: 2hrs, 30mins; one intermission

www.greenhousetheater.org


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  Tea with Edie and Fitz Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...Playwright Adam Pasen gets out of the gate ahead of Luhrmann with "Tea With Edie and Fitz," now in a world premiere with Dead Writers Theatre Collective under Jim Schneider's direction. Pasen's conceit (and this play is overstuffed with them) is to juxtapose the youthful Fitzgeralds with the seemingly more staid Gilded Age represented by Edith Wharton, who chronicled New York society in novels such as "The Age of Innocence.""
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Kerry Reid


Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...Set in 1925, the new play, a work of ambition and potential as well as considerable pretense, looks at that iconic Jazz Age duo of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda. And it chronicles a brief encounter between Fitzgerald and that grande dame of American literature of the earlier Gilded Age, Edith Wharton."
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Hedy Weiss


Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...The episode is full of dramatic potential, but playwright Adam Pasen loads so many literary references, historical anecdotes, and metatheatrical tricks into this Dead Writers Theatre Collective premiere that there's little room for coherent narrative. He gives us portraits of the leads and of their muses/nemeses-Henry James and Zelda Fitzgerald-but only the addled, vindictive Fitzgeralds have much at stake. Wharton mostly dithers and putters; James is a witty ghost. Director Jim Schneider's stagey production comes to life only when the Fitzgeralds start tearing into each other."
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Justin Hayford


Windy City Times - Recommended

"...The Dead Writers Theatre Collective manifesto proclaims its members' purpose to be, among other goals, preservation of "the integrity of the writer's original vision." This mission might make for regrettable clutter in translating Pasen's exhaustively researched project from academic hypothesis to physical actualization, but Jim Schneider's direction renders Patti Roeder and Michael D. Graham's Wharton and James as witty and engaging a couple as ever shared passions all the more enduring for being platonic, while Madison Niederhauser and Nora Lise Ulrey's Scott and Zelda convey the tragedy lurking beneath the veneer of jazz-age celebrity. However overstuffed this private-lives-of-the-rich-and-famous fantasy may be rendered by the circumstances surrounding its inspiration, playgoers without advanced degrees will find it readily accessible, nonetheless."
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Mary Shen Barnidge


ShowBizChicago - Highly Recommended

"...What is so brilliant about Mr. Pasen's story is his insight on why these great talents wrote in the sprit that they so did. Each of the characters is faced with issues of conflicted sexual identity, infidelity and more importantly; mental illness. Mr. Pasen juxtaposes these matters with great skill. Wharton's current husband is locked away in a mental institution while Mr. Fitzgerald's wife is decidedly on her way into one. The dichotomy of the two characters dealing with the same issue although viewed through different social prisms is quite telling. The same is true with how Fitzgerald and Henry James dealt with life on the "down low" where ferries have a decidedly different meaning depending on the generation."
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Michael J. Roberts


ChicagoCritic - Somewhat Recommended

"...But all in all, Tea with Edie and Fitz needs desperately to learn how to walk before it can run, remembering in the last analysis that no amount of "literary" cleverness can substitute for emotional honesty and depth of character."
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Anthony J. Mangini


Around The Town Chicago - Recommended

"...Dead Writers Theatre Collective is committed to a focus on plays that relate to great writers- either by or about dead writers! Now that you know their "mission", I will tell you about their current production,"Tea with Edie and Fitz", written by the very much alive Adam Pasen. The story chronicles a meeting between Edith Wharton ( well portrayed by the always reliable Patti Roeder) and F. Scott Fitzgerald ( deftly handled by Madison Niederhauser). The atory is devised in a manner that can be somewhat confusing as we go back in time and forward in time, depending on which story version is being told. We also have the use of video's on a screen just left of the stage ( from the audience viewpoint) and there are times that the actors "re-wind" on stage. Gimmicks are wonderful, but I do not believe that as much as this production shows us is needed."
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Alan Bresloff


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