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  The Night Season at Factory Theater

The Night Season

Factory Theater
1623 W Howard St Chicago

When the tiny, seaside home town of W.B. Yeats gets occupied by an English film crew making his biopic, the Kennedys figure giving lodging to the lead actor will put a few extra coins in their pockets. They do get plenty of change, and not just Euros, as the family's three sisters and their delusional grandmother all decide it's time to stop letting life pass them by. The mother who ran away, the father who can barely leave the house, a big pile of pent-up desire, it all gets confronted in this skewed romantic comedy helmed by the director of Sideshow Theatre's No More Sad Things, Stage Left's Rabbit, and Strawdog's Season 28 smash After Miss Julie.

Presented by Strawdog Theatre

Thru - Jun 24, 2017

Price: $15-$50

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-644-1380

  The Night Season Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...It makes for intriguing, well-observed characters facing potentially explosive moments, especially when handsome actor John, playing Yeats in a biopic being shot in town, takes up temporary residence and ignites dormant passions in at least two of the women. But the explosions are late and limp. Little of significant consequence happens until midway through act two, when a flurry of confessions and meltdowns spring from near left field. Director Elly Green's fine cast deliver winning moments-far more winning than the story they're meant to support."
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Justin Hayford

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...Devising a happy resolution to these woes is a struggle, but Rebecca Lenkiewicz accomplishes it in a script that director Elly Green and a cast of Strawdog ensemble regulars embrace with warmth and gusto making for a congenial yarn progressing at comfortably unhurried velocity for its two-and-a-half-hour duration. Playgoers of literary bent are free to amuse themselves looking for textual references to Chekhov, Shakespeare, Friel and, of course, William Butler you-know-who, but merely spending time with characters as engaging as these is a worthy evening's investment, too."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Yet Strawdog's production is steeped in warmth and honesty, even-perhaps especially-in the moments when Lenkiewicz's script leans mawkish. Green's staging is crisp and precise, with Mike Mroch's economical, in-the-round set design allowing scenes to subtly overlap and transitions to occur seamlessly. The seven-member cast, five of them members of Strawdog's ensemble, make a fresh and forceful case for the value of that storied Chicago model. The existing connections among many of these actors-the interplay among Petro's intensity, Turner's vulnerability, Jamie Vann's bullish buoyancy-underlines the sense of real familial truth in this highly affecting production. Here's to more seasons to come."
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Kris Vire

ChicagoCritic - Somewhat Recommended

"...The Night Season is charmingly heart-warming and funny in its best moments, and features a very strong cast of actors-notably, Janice O'Neill and John Henry Roberts, both of whom I could easily have imagined receiving Jeff nominations. Lenkiewicz, however, delivers up only disappointment by the end, when the heart has cooled, the charm has worn, and the funny has outstayed its welcome."
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August Lysy

NewCity Chicago - Not Recommended

"...The overall quality of acting skews so high that it may make you wonder if the cast is compensating for the obvious deficiencies in the script. The characteristic Strawdog aesthetics are easy enough to identify: Mike Mroch's decidedly dingy set, Heath Hays' subtle sounds, Claire Chrzan's atmospheric lighting. Were all the same folks employed on a play of greater urgency and purpose, the result would have been undoubtedly more impactful."
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Kevin Greene

Chicago Theatre Review - Recommended

"...In a worthy finale to Strawdog Theatre’s 2016-17 season, we have a strongly acted, melancholy, slice-of-life drama that’s liberally laced with unexpected comedy. But more importantly, this play meshes honest emotion and realistic situations with a not-so-thinly veiled allusion to other works, especially those of Chekhov. Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s slight storyline is an excuse to examine three sisters of Sligo, all close and yet very different. We observe them living their everyday lives with their lovable, doddering grandmother and bombastic, liquored-up father. We also watch the sisters searching for love, sometimes in all the wrong places. But, as the playwright says, this is a look at the frailty of people trying to connect with each other or with something in the world. This play is a bit choppy and somewhat episodic, but the production offers an entertaining, enlightening character study of a family simply trying to make it through the night."
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Colin Douglas

The Fourth Walsh - Highly Recommended

"...An actor chooses to stay with a family of locals during his film shoot in Ireland. Although he prefers a quiet homey setting to a noisy hotel, he finds himself center of attention in a loud, boozy, loving family. Playwright Rebecca Lenkiewicz pens a a different kind of love story. It's not as linear as boy-meets-girl. It zig-zags. New loves are challenged. Old loves are revisited. And the love between a mother and a child is questioned... over and over. Lenkiewicz drops us in to the house of a dysfunctional yet close-knit family. Three grown daughters live with their drunken father and their sweet, crazy grandma. Although there is romance, this love story is really about a family."
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Katy Walsh

Third Coast Review - Recommended

"...The Night Season has plenty of Irish charm, the requisite amount of drinking, and musical background composed of songs from Lily's 1930s playlist. The play, which runs about 2-1/2 hours with one intermission, is long but never tedious. It's made up of a series of scenes about the sisters' various relationships without much plot to tie everything together."
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Nancy Bishop

Picture This Post - Recommended

"...The Night Season is probably one of the longest plays on a Chicago stage now. You will note this, but likely not mind. The scenes are short and numerous, especially in the second half. Our attention shifts back and forth from one bedroom to another, to a pub, to a library, the beach, a restaurant, the living room-all in rapid fire. In other hands this might engender whiplash; in Strawdog's production it just seems to add to the anticipation of what comes next or what one of these accessible but complex characters might say."
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Amy Munice

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