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  The Dark at the Top of the Stairs at Athenaeum Theatre

The Dark at the Top of the Stairs

Athenaeum Theatre
2936 N. Southport Chicago

The setting is a small Oklahoma town in the early 1920s and the home of the Flood family: Rubin, a traveling salesman for a harness firm; Cora, his sensitive and lovely wife; Sonny, their little boy; and Reenie, their teenage daughter. A series of short stories unfolds - the fight between a husband and wife, the fear of an overly shy young girl about going to a dance, the problems of an introverted little boy who feels that the whole world is against him, the corroding marriage of Cora's rowdy sister, and the tragedy of a military school cadet who suffers from the stigma of being a Jew in an alien community. There is dark at the top of everyone's stairs, but it can be dissipated by understanding, tolerance and compassion. Experience The Dark at the Top of the Stairs at the Athenaeum Theatre Studio Three in Chicago.

Thru - Dec 16, 2018

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-935-6875

Athenaeum Theatre Seating Chart

Nearby Restaurants

  The Dark at the Top of the Stairs Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...The play, set in Oklahoma in 1922, touches on a number of social issues—racism, anti-Semitism, class difference, economic disruption (Ruben sells harnesses at a time when automobiles are replacing horses)—and Henderson and his cast deftly deal with these issues, acknowledging them, but never allowing them to upstage Inge's story and his perhaps too painstaking character development."
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Jack Helbig

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...Having tasted their vulnerabilities in Jerrell L. Henderson’s caretaker staging, we can only wish them well. All nine performances come from the inside out, fully steeped in their characters’ crises. Samantha Rausch’s period-perfect setting is absolutely accurate to prairie life in the not-so-roaring 20s. Nothing in her richly detailed parlor seems out of place or time."
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Lawrence Bommer

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...School-aged interlopers Flirt (Hilary Schwartz), Sammy (Zachary Alexander), and Punky (Tony Rossi) allude to troubles greater and smaller than the claustrophobic lives of the Floods; the sense of how unremarkable the Floods are lends gray despair to their woes. Under Jerrell Henderson’s direction, Eclipse’s production walks the line between realism and melodrama with strength and ease."
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Irene Hsiao

Third Coast Review - Somewhat Recommended

"...Henderson's direction is capable but most of the performances by his cast of nine are undistinguished. Huston and Hicks are sincere and believable as the shy teenager and her fearful mother and Wagner shines in his one scene as Sammy. Furthermore, there seem to be problems with the sound system in the third floor studio at the Athenaeum (although I have not noticed this in the many previous shows I have seen there). The result is erratic aural performances by a few of the actors."
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Nancy Bishop

Rescripted - Recommended

"...This show is full of laughter, life, and even love. There are such strong moments in Jerell Henderson’s direction that it left me wondering if the weaker ones are even a part of the same production, and that is what constantly took me in and out of the story. Aneisa Hicks’ performance is one such example, she consistently demanded respect while maintaining a mother-like love through her authoritative energy, but at other times she felt awkward and misplaced in her blocking."
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Logan McClullom

  The Dark at the Top of the Stairs 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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