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  The Great Leap at Steppenwolf Theatre

The Great Leap

Steppenwolf Theatre
1650 N. Halsted Chicago

When an American basketball team travels to Beijing amidst tensions in the late 80s, past relationships collide with present day revelations. Witty and weighty, this Chicago premiere explores cultural barriers, political risks and personal sacrifice. Lauren Yee's The Great Leap is sure to be compelling to basketball fans, history buffs and everyone who has ever had a dream.

Thru - Oct 20, 2019

Sat, Sep 21: 3:00pm & 7:30pm
Sun, Sep 22: 3:00pm & 7:30pm
Tue, Sep 24: 7:30pm
Wed, Sep 25: 7:30pm
Thu, Sep 26: 7:30pm
Fri, Sep 27: 7:30pm
Sat, Sep 28: 3:00pm & 7:30pm
Sun, Sep 29: 3:00pm & 7:30pm
Tue, Oct 1: 7:30pm
Wed, Oct 2: 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Thu, Oct 3: 7:30pm
Fri, Oct 4: 7:30pm
Sat, Oct 5: 3:00pm & 7:30pm
Sun, Oct 6: 3:00pm
Tue, Oct 8: 7:30pm
Wed, Oct 9: 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Thu, Oct 10: 7:30pm
Fri, Oct 11: 7:30pm
Sat, Oct 12: 3:00pm & 7:30pm
Sun, Oct 13: 3:00pm
Tue, Oct 15: 7:30pm
Wed, Oct 16: 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Thu, Oct 17: 7:30pm
Fri, Oct 18: 7:30pm
Sat, Oct 19: 3:00pm & 7:30pm
Sun, Oct 20: 3:00pm

Price: $20 - $89

Stage: Upstairs Theatre

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 312-335-1650

Running Time: 2hrs; one intermission

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  The Great Leap Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...Yee clearly has affection for her foul-mouthed, Yiddish-quoting Saul, manifest in a hilarious monologue where he tries to get his players to stay out of trouble. And all four of the performances in Prudencio’s hard-working production are very solid; Obrero bursts with energy and talent and, more than once, Seol’s Wen is very moving. Yee has a further surprise when it comes to that character, which is a bridge too far for me, but certainly provides a poetic and resonant end to two hours of lay-ups and baskets in the theater."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...Director Jesca Prudencio’s production comes off as confident and fast-moving but also somewhat sedate. The injections of the physical — mostly Obrero’s intense foot-heavy drills, a form of carefully controlled chaotic energy — are welcome but not especially integrated. Prudencio theatricalizes the aspects of gameplay sufficiently but not excitingly. Set designer Justin Humphres splits the audience in two in Steppenwolf’s Upstairs black box space, with basketball-court flooring in the middle, as if we were coming to a game. Although it works overall, it also problematically constrains the projections, which play a key role even at the compelling climax, to a sliver of space above the seating on each side."
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Steven Oxman

Daily Herald - Recommended

"...The personal becomes very political in Lauren Yee's 2018 basketball drama "The Great Leap," now receiving a strong Chicago premiere by Steppenwolf Theatre. Yee skillfully weaves fact with fiction with "The Great Leap" to pull audiences in, yet the play's uncomfortable ending and familial plot holes keep it from fully satisfying."
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Scott C. Morgan

Stage and Cinema - Highly Recommended

"...As with Cambodian Rock Band, Lauren Yee, a genius playwright with a perfect touch, finds the truths in tiny stuff and big reveals. The Big Leap is just that. It lands hard and true."
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Lawrence Bommer

Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Recommended

"...Metaphorically speaking, one could say that in spite of the obstacles, Yee's focal message is that "Love and Basketball," conquer all. The Great Leap has substance, and with a little imagination, you will leave Steppenwolf Theater with a historical lesson on perseverance."
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Rick and Brenda McCain

WTTW - Highly Recommended

"...In addition to the play’s timeliness, there is the sheer physical and emotional dynamism of the production, which has been staged by Jesca Prudencio (a director new to Chicago, who hopefully will be booked for a return), and the work of four dazzling actors, including Chicago veteran Keith Kupferer, and, in their Steppenwolf debuts, Glenn Obrero, James Seol and Deanna Myers."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Theater and Arts - Highly Recommended

"..."The Great Leap" is a fast-paced, energy-charged, witty play performed by an exceptional cast under the direction of Jesca Prudencio, known internationally for handling shows that incorporate a high-level of physicality."
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Jodie Jacobs

Picture This Post - Highly Recommended

"...As THE GREAT LEAP moves towards its closing dramatic buzzer, we learn about encounters from the past that impact the present in significant ways. Many scenes earlier, Saul noted “Just because it’s a free throw doesn’t make it free.” Indeed, sending a ball successfully through a hoop and scoring a point turns out to be anything but free."
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Susan Lieberman

   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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