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  The Jacksonian at Profiles Theatre - The Main Stage

The Jacksonian

Profiles Theatre - The Main Stage
4139 N. Broadway Chicago

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Beth Henley's eerie new play The Jacksonian transports audiences to Jackson, Mississippi, 1964. When his wife kicks him out, respectable dentist Bill Perch moves into the unsettling world of the seedy Jacksonian Motel. There, his downward spiral is punctuated by encounters with his teenage daughter, a gold-digging motel employee, a treacherous bartender and Perch's now-estranged wife. Revolving around the night of a murder, The Jacksonian, brims with suspense and dark humor as the subversive becomes commonplace and the passage of time becomes hauntingly unpredictable.

Thru - Oct 11, 2015

Thursdays: 8:00pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 5:00pm & 8:00pm
Sundays: 7:00pm

Price: $30-$40

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-549-1815

Running Time: 1hr, 30min

  The Jacksonian Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...The cast creates a colorful array of Jacksonians seeking refuge of one kind or another, but not all of the roles feel fully inhabited. The denizens of the motel come off more as externally fused eccentrics when they needed to be more credible, more real. The stakes in the show don't rise as they should — mostly, I think, because the actors all seem to be trying too hard to create a collision of oddballs when Henley actually has written this piece with a noir nod to the cool and the angular."
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Chris Jones

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...As with Neil Simon, a few more generations of playgoers are needed to free Henley from the expectations of cartoonish grotesquery associated with her earlier work. In the meantime, Profiles Theatre director Joe Jahraus and his cast acknowledge the intimacy of their storefront quarters to keep their production's tone subdued and acting styles naturalistic-no easy accomplishment in a milieu where people say things like "She smells like broken crayons," and others reply, "All the colors you don't want to use." The ensemble work is impeccable, but the standout performance of the 85-minute evening is Loyola University freshman Juliana Liscio in the role of the forlorn adolescent who just might someday write about her experiences for comfortably uncomprehending strangers like us."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Gapers Block - Somewhat Recommended

"...Beth Henley's 2012 play, The Jacksonian, is a bit of noir, a bit of Southern Gothic decay, and set in a nondescript motel of that name on the outskirts of Jackson, Miss., in 1964. Joe Jahraus' direction is paced right and moves the action easily among the three settings in this 90-minute production. The five-member cast is capable, with Tim Curtis providing a strong performance as the drug-addled dentist Bill Perch, whose dental practice as well as his marriage are in decline. Juliana Liscio as his daughter, Rosy, gives a touching performance. (Liscio is a new high school graduate, ready to begin college as a Loyola theater major.)"
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Nancy Bishop

Stage and Cinema - Somewhat Recommended

"...For what it's worth Jahraus' direction is taut enough, though there's too little suspense baked into this cruel confection. Clearly inspired by Katie-Bell Springmann's sickly-sweet set, he captures the evil eccentricities of Henley's rogues' gallery of talking wounded. Curtis' caricature of small-town respectability, Sledd's slumming wife, Bowman's good-time girl and opportunistic predator, and Isely's stupid sociopath fully deserve their Pandora's box. Then there's ill-named Rosy: Adding a dark dignity to the dirty doings, Liscio's hapless seer can only proclaim the worst. As if this magnolia-scented mess is anything like a Greek tragedy."
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Lawrence Bommer

ChicagoCritic - Somewhat Recommended

"...Profiles Theatre loves to find weird, seedy, and violent plays. Their latest, The Jacksonian, by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Beth Henley (for 1979 Crimes of the Heart) is a confusing, underwritten, Southern Gothic, darkly humorous, and violent drama peopled by a worthless set of losers."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...Dentists are often overlooked when it comes to fiction, be it on the page, stage or screen (although Hollywood does enjoy using them in horror films, i.e. Marathon Man). Not so in Beth Henley’s The Jacksonian now playing at Profiles Theatre. It may not be a perfect show, but this eerie drama has a great ensemble, lovely staging and all the Southern twang you could possibly want."

Bellisant Corcoran-Mathe

Around The Town Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...Let me take you into the 90 minute play (with no intermission). The time is 1964 and we are at a motel, named The Jacksonian in Jackson Mississippi. Our story begins with some fog (which is used several times and people in the first rows found themselves somewhat upset by this feature) and our narrator Rosy (Juliana Liscio) who is telling us the story of her own life and the breakup of her parents. Her father, a respected dentists, Bill Perch(deftly handled by Tim Curtis)has been tossed from his luxurious home by his spouse,Susan (a strong performance by Rachel Sledd) who he has abused over the years, but he claims she has mental problems."
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Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theatre Review - Somewhat Recommended

"...As the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Crimes of the Heart” and “The Miss Firecracker Contest,” Beth Henley’s latest offering is said to have been sparked by events from her own childhood. This quirky play, with its darkly comic elements, springs back and forth between ominous, Southern Gothic storytelling and no-nonsense, spirited realism. Sometimes this lands with success, while at other times the results are just unsettling. This murder mystery, laced with sex and violence, depicts a world filled with greed, prejudice and desperation. It’s not a world where most of us would want to live, but a short, voyeuristic visit can be fascinating."
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Colin Douglas

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