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  The Dark at the Top of the Stairs Reviews
The Dark at the Top of the Stairs
The Dark at the Top of the Stairs

The Dark at the Top of the Stairs
Eclipse Theatre Company at Athenaeum Theatre
Thru - Dec 16, 2018

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Show Information


Eclipse Theatre Company at Athenaeum Theatre

  • 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