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  The Good Book at Court Theatre

The Good Book

Court Theatre
5535 S. Ellis Avenue Chicago

In this highly original world premiere play, Denis O'Hare and Lisa Peterson (An Iliad) weave stories of devotion and doubt into their very own creation myth about the place where human faith and divine inspiration intersect: the Bible. As thirteen year-old Connor struggles to reconcile his identity with his dream of becoming a priest and modern-day Biblical scholar Miriam wrestles to resolve her crisis of faith, they lead us through an incredible exploration on how the Bible was conceived. From ancient Judea to medieval Ireland to suburban America, The Good Book is a powerful and exuberant journey through the most influential book in Western history.

Thru - Apr 19, 2015

Wednesdays: 7:30pm
Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 3:00pm & 8:00pm
Sundays: 2:30pm & 7:30pm

Price: $45-$65

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-753-4472

Running Time: 3hrs; one intermission

Court Theatre Seating Chart

  The Good Book Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"..."The Good Book" (the cast also features Jacqueline Williams and Allen Gilmore and features a cool design from Rachel Hauck) needs a lot more work, although the level of ambition here is admirable indeed. There is already some good stuff, including some rushed exploration of the Bible's relationship to gender (that could be a whole play in itself) and a moving discussion between Miriam and a man she loves, a Christian, played by Kareem Bandealy. Resnik is moving in those scenes that express her own needs."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"..."The Good Book," the play by Denis O'Hare and Lisa Peterson now receiving a supremely artful world premiere at Court Theatre, is so full of complexity, ambition, contradiction, humor, satire, intellectual history, political manipulation, questions about translation, ancient and contemporary references and characters, and profound matters of faith (as well as skepticism) that it should come as no surprise to learn that the book that inspired it was the Bible - both the Old Testament and New Testament."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...I don't have political or religious objections to any of the above. I know how bad the good book can be, and I have no stake in the myth of divine revelation. What bothers me is that the angry tack O'Hare and Peterson have taken this time precludes the possibility of discovering what's truly human in the Bible. With its contemporary story line and its enlightened ideology, The Good Book is fine in a preaching-to-the-choir way. It's just that I hoped for more."
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Tony Adler

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...Peterson’s staging is handsome and clean, even if it could stand to lose half an hour or so. Resnik and Weisman both give compelling performances, though the dramaturgical question of why their stories are paired here remains an open one. Miriam’s arc as the nonbeliever in the relative present day is all too familiar, while the most interesting parts of Connor’s journey—namely how he got to be the uptight altar boy we first see, since his parents are presented as not particularly devout, and how he eventually makes peace between his faith and his sexuality, as we see in the final scene—all take place offstage. We may not need all the begats, but The Good Book needs to give its focal characters a little more history."
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Kris Vire

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...Amusing and even plausible though "The Good Book" may be as a tale about the formation of the Bible, ultimately it is the story of a woman who has lost her spiritual connection to both God and the world, her life. Her lover (one of several roles smartly turned by Kareem Bandealy) tells her as much: Happiness has slipped from her grasp. She has turned inward, grown cynical, shut out the light."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Stage and Cinema - Somewhat Recommended

"...The world premiere production of a new play about the Bible by Denis O'Hare and Lisa Peterson, The Good Book is impressive, complex, informative, and entertaining, perhaps even provocative and challenging to some viewers. Unfortunately, there seems to be simply too much going on, story-wise and production-wise, to make for a wholly satisfactory and compelling drama."
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Barnaby Hughes

ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...Peterson's directing keeps the multiple story threads clear in the first act with some help from supertitles, and keeps eliciting strong performances from her actors throughout the second. Miriam struggles with a sense of loss that is stereotypical of first generation atheists, but Resnik is absolutely convincing through private moments of fear and doubt, public defiance, and anti-realist action and metaphysical sequences. Weisman's character had to be set in a different time to be plausible, and his epiphany is obvious from a modern standpoint, but Weisman plays him with appropriate defensive earnestness which gradually breaks down."
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Jacob Davis

Chicago Stage Standard - Recommended

"...The world premier play The Good Book at Court Theatre here in Chicago is sure to stir some heated post show discussions. Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson’s new work unapologetically dissects the Bible from beginning to end and in doing so challenges the audience to reexamine everything they may or may not know about how the Bible was written, its validity and authorship included. The work questions supposed knowns like, did Moses himself really write several books of the Bible? Was Mary actually a “virgin” or was that word simply transcribed into existence. It raises many controversial questions including faith, belief, following the ancient rules and what parts of the Bible got lost in translation, literally."

Rand Ringgenberg

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Court Theatre's new production, "The Good Book", is an intriguing play about two wildly disparate people set against more than 3000 years of history. You had to have faith in the playwrights - and wait until the second act - to fill in the blanks. "The Good Book" is a very well-written, well-acted play, and I give it 4 Spotlights."
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Carol Moore

Chicago Theatre Review - Recommended

"...So though it may not quite tie together its loose ends, “Good Book” certainly continues Court’s high quality standards, and its unlike anything else on a Chicago stage right now."
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Peter Thomas Ricci

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   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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