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  The Antelope Party at Theater Wit

The Antelope Party

Theater Wit
1229 W Belmont Ave Chicago

It's sometime in the 2010s. The Rust Belt Ponies Meet Up Group for Adult Fans of My Little Pony has gathered in Ben's Philadelphia apartment, but two members have not yet arrived. A new recruit seems unusually shy and curiously paranoid about a local neighborhood watch group. What happened to their Pegasister, Maggie? Why is Brony Doug so paranoid? What does it all have to do with the 9/11 Truthers and an emerging group of "concerned citizens?" In the midst of increasing violence and authoritarianism, how can our heroes see the magic in Everypony? And, even worse, what if they do?

Thru - Feb 24, 2018

Price: $24-$38

Show Type: Comedy

Box Office: 773-975-8150

Running Time: 2hrs, 15mins

  The Antelope Party Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...Meyer provides smart bookends for the piece through Jean (Mary Winn Heider), a 9/11 "truther" who stumbles into the brony meeting at the beginning and warns them that "a neighborhood watch doesn't exist for long unless it has some arrangement with the police." By the end, she returns as "Applejack," ready to leave the dark side of conspiracy theories for the sunnier make-believe world of Equestria. But the Circle of Friendship has been broken and Nightmare Moon covers the land."
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Kerry Reid

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Meyer is brilliant at showing how fantasy play may produce a brony or a neo-Nazi. If only other elements of his narrative were as strong: engaging as it is, Jeremy Wechsler's staging for Theater Wit can't hide the sketchiness of some of the characters."
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Tony Adler

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...Though it’s a bit of an all-purpose allegory, Meyer’s microcosmic satire has some interesting observations about the authoritarian need to invent a common enemy—“gutterpunks” here become the scapegoats du jour—as well as a revisionist history that recasts the powerful as the oppressed. But the My Little Pony theme wears out its usefulness by intermission, becoming Antelope’s albatross. And while the constantly shifting POV, with characters’ allegiances changing from scene to scene, is almost certainly a deliberate choice, it ultimately proves alienating despite the efforts of director Jeremy Wechsler and a thoroughbred cast. As for the brony angle, well, much like the cartoon’s abundant pony puns, it’s pretty forced."
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Kris Vire

Stage and Cinema - Somewhat Recommended

"...Well, despite five well-keyed performances from Wechsler’s excellent ensemble, succeeding in this wager is not so great a feat — not when the outcome of this evil role-playing seems so heavy-handedly creepy and cynical. We get the authoritarian point long before the play’s “new normal” ending. As an object lesion or cautionary tale, The Antelope Party is not exactly breaking news. Tell me something I don’t know."
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Lawrence Bommer

Around The Town Chicago - Recommended

"...Make no mistake, Theater Wit's " The Antelope Party" is not for the faint of heart. Don't be fooled by the cute little pony in the advertising. Although it is billed as a dark comedy, I saw a lot more 'dark' than I did comedy. The 'party' is political, not social, and it's a very scary, neighborhood version of fascism. The cast does an excellent job with a difficult subject."
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Carol Moore

NewCity Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...But for all the aspects of this play that are admirable, it leaves a lot to be wished for. It’s certainly not subtle; it throws metaphor out the window very quickly. The ending is unclear (enough so that my companion for the night whispered, “Wait, is it over?” as the cast was entering for curtain call). And for how boldly the play explored the fear and violence of living in an oppressive militarized state, the racial implications were slightly skewed by presenting it with a majority white cast. It would have been better to see the effects of such a regime over a wider range of experiences and identities."
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Emma Couling

Chicago Theatre Review - Recommended

"...This unresolved ending almost seems like a copout on the part of the playwright. Because of this, Eric John Meyer’s new play feels like someone pulled the plug in the 11th hour. Perhaps he’s trying to cover too many ideas without thoroughly thinking them through. Meyer’s play begins as a bizarre comedy with serious overtones. But then it shifts gears and becomes a heavy drama that grows darker and more frightening. But perhaps Meyer’s script is a simply a call to arms, because it’s certainly as eye-opening and thought-provoking as George Orwell’s cautionary Animal Farm. Jeremy Wechsler’s production about rogues and roleplaying is a tense, terrifically-acted story that offers a solid evening of provocative intrigue and entertainment."
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Colin Douglas

The Hawk Chicago - Recommended

"...Though this play still could use some breaking in, it’s definitely not just horsing around either. The Antelope Party preys on the fears all liberal Americans have been forced to face in the last troubling year. This is a dark comedy that rings all too true."
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Emily Schmidt

Chicago On Stage - Somewhat Recommended

"...This play has a lot of great, funny lines-including one right near the end that had the whole audience exploding-and director Jeremy Wechsler has done a very good job trying to bring it all together and has gotten some marvelous performances from his actors, but ultimately Meyer's script lets him down. It would have been far better to remain in Equestria."
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Karen Topham

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