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The Gulf
The Gulf

The Gulf
About Face Theatre at Theater Wit
Thru - Feb 15, 2020

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About Face Theatre at Theater Wit

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Somewhat Recommended

"...But despite these clear attempts at immersion, the show lacks pace and its overly chilly trajectory never feels organic. The conversational conflict comes in fits and starts that feel mostly arbitrary and tentatively connected; there is no clear variance in tone. You don’t really believe the women have huge emotional stakes in each other’s happiness, even in the steamier scenes, and there is no other palpable source of dramatic tension."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended

"...Kelli Simpkins (Kendra) and Deanna Myers (Betty) are both outstanding, their engaging physicality perfectly capturing the nuance of a couple who harbor unexpressed resentments in a relationship buoyed by longing. Kendra loves fishing, sports, and beer; she is handy, especially at masking her feelings. Betty is emotional and expressive; she has plans and wants to pull Kendra along. But Kendra's tough, angry exterior masks a sensitive soul looking to connect, hurt by Betty's past infidelities. Simpkins and Myers land a winning catch."
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Josh Flanders

Windy City Times- Recommended

"...Two-person plays can be inherently a bit claustrophobic, but The Gulf's claustrophobia is somewhat ironic: though they literally have an entire sea surrounding them, the women are confined to the tiny space of their stalled boat. Director Megan Carney makes the most of this limitation, using it both to bring them together and to pull them apart. Much of the time, Betty and Kendra confine themselves to their own ends of the boat, remaining separate while together."
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Karen Topham

Around The Town Chicago- Recommended

"...There are times we must take a step back and look at a theatrical production through the eyes of others. Often we forget our meaning, which in reality is to assist theater audiences in making the investment in buying a ticket to see a play. Many base this choice on what they read, which is from our prospective, so to be fair, I try to “take a step back” and try to see the play as I might see it under other than my circumstances. Audrey Cefaly’s “The Gulf”, now on the stage of Theater Wit , is a play that caused me to do this."
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago- Recommended

"..."The Gulf" is hilarious and heartbreaking and contains enough outstanding elements to ensure a positive audience response over the course of its run. But I keep returning to that fishing metaphor, which is where "The Gulf" ultimately sits for me. The rhythm is slow, smooth and contains a lot of space. I'm still wrestling with whether I was truly hooked by the understated nature of this play. If nothing else, I'm grateful for the silence and space. There's a lot to think about these days."
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Ben Kaye

Third Coast Review- Recommended

"...Over the course of the hours spent overnight in a ramshackle boat, Betty and Kendra argue. (Should they move so Betty can go to college and do better than her bartender job? Why doesn't Kendra want to do better, when she's smart as a whip?) And sometimes they make up and then fight again. Smart dialogue and strong acting save this play from being boring. The 85-minute duet is broken only by crickets and other delta wildlife, the boat's movement from Kendra's oar, and occasional watery background noise. Not much happens. Not even a thunderstorm. It's not easy to maintain excitement with two people in such a restricted setting, despite director Megan Carney's skilful management of the scene, and the two characters' warm and affectionate portrayals. I found myself checking the time well before the play was over."
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Nancy Bishop

Picture This Post- Recommended

"...THE GULF is an intimate show that slowly pulls out the intricacies of the two women's relationship. If you're not one for shows that deal with relationship drama, this might not be the one for you. However, it would be a good fit for those who like dialogue driven plays that have a slow build to an epic release."
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Alexis Bugajski