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  The Civility of Albert Cashier Reviews
The Civility of Albert Cashier
Stage 773

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Somewhat Recommended

"...But the story of Albert D.J. Cashier is especially compelling: The evidence strongly suggests that Cashier, who returned to Belvidere, Ill., after the war, did not live as a man merely for expedient reasons, the economic, military and voting-rights benefits notwithstanding. Cashier's Illinois story is one of identity in its deepest and thus most American sense."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Reader- Somewhat Recommended

"...The story, directed by Keaton Wooden, who cocomposed with Joe Stevens, flips awkwardly back and forth between the soldier's active combat and the year before his death, when, suffering from dementia, he was assigned to a mental institution. Though the light musical tone is often at odds with the substantial story, there are some undeniably affecting bluegrass and folk-infused moments here-especially between Dani Shay as young Cashier and Billy Rude as a smitten battle buddy."
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Dan Jakes

Stage and Cinema- Highly Recommended

"...A restorative reminder of what’s best about America and what’s yet to keep its promise, CiviliTy is some very welcome theater. The new venture has inspired the best in everyone connected with it. And that will include its audiences as well."
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Lawrence Bommer

Splash Magazine- Highly Recommended

"...This was a tight, well-orchestrated, well-produced and engaging show, if largely a flight of fancy, with a strong appeal to social conscience. Musicals aren’t expected to present a linear story, and they traditionally serve as a vehicle for projecting value-laden observations and idealized heroes and villains, and this play is no exception.This is a recreation of an imagined life about which little is known."
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Debra Davy

Around The Town Chicago- Recommended

"...Jay Paul Deratany, who wrote the book for this musical, has clearly done extensive research into Albert Cashier’s entire biography. Initially conceived of as a dramatic piece, the script was written by Deratany in response to the abuses committed against the LGBTQ community worldwide. An avid reader of the website Human Rights Watch, the former lawyer and human rights advocate stumbled upon some information regarding Albert Cashier and has created a glowing tribute to his memory in this work."
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...The history of any nation of consequence is military—as such are identities forged by memoirs of might. But is the identity of a person also what they did and how or is it merely molecular, topological, geographic? “The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier,” written by Jay Paul Deratany and co-composed by Keaton Wooden and Joe Stevens, delves into these questions in a musical of the life of one Albert D.J. Cashier, née Jennie Irene Hodgers."
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Irene Hsiao

Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended

"...But make no mistake: this is a gorgeous, noteworthy and very important piece of theatre that begs to be experienced. Certainly it’s not news that, disguised as men, women have secretly been fighting wars since the beginning of time. But this story’s become even more timely, not only because the public has recently become aware of transgender individuals existing in society, but because of the current administration’s executive decision to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Musical Theatre- Recommended

"...All around, the production is damn near a perfect storm of ingredients needed for an optimal premiere, from a rich supporting cast - including Billy Rude as able gabber and abiding friend Jeffrey N. Davis (an unfortunate name, yes), and Cameron Armstrong, a freedman surgeon with a voice made for the folk style, both with worthy solos - to a rustically simple physical setting that's rich in history and character, but puts the focus squarely on the text. (Jeremy Hollis's canvas drops are used to stunning effect, and G. "Max" Maxin IV's projections augment the back wall well.) Moves well, too: Derek Van Barham takes what he can from the Steven Hoggett school of distilling graceful movement from the mundane."
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Patrick O'Brien

Chicago On Stage- Recommended

"...Condit's vocal power, honed in shows on Broadway, in Vienna, the Goodman, etc.-she has all of the acting credentials her younger counterpart doesn't-is easily a match for Shay's, and she is brilliant singing the song that asks the question underlying the entire play, "What Is Real?" Albert's whole life has been based on the persona he created after arriving from Ireland; how real is it?"
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Karen Topham

Picture This Post- Recommended

"...Alas, for this writer-these great talents, the musical genius at work, obvious singing talents, and this amazing real-world story made newly relevant by Trump's tweets and follow on re: banning Trans soldiers- seems to be stifled a tad in a script begging for some scissoring down to size. With time too one would hope that the intriguing choreography that makes awkward boy movements so real will get the re-think polish its promise merits."
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Amy Munice