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  The Scene Reviews
The Scene
The Scene

The Scene
Writers Theatre
Thru - Apr 2, 2017

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Writers Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Somewhat Recommended

"..."The Scene" hardly is the first play or movie about that watershed moment when a man decides he just cannot take it any more — see, for example, Tracy Letts' "Man From Nebraska," now in a revival in New York, or David Mamet's 1982 play "Edmond." Those works, penned by men, treat the protagonist with a kind of wry sympathy, perchance born of authorial experience. What makes Rebeck's play different — apart from it being explosively engaging and deeply sardonic — is that it is suffused with contempt."
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Chris Jones



Chicago Sun Times- Somewhat Recommended

"...The play, which debuted in New York in 2007, is now receiving its Chicago area debut at Writers Theatre, and while its four-person cast, under the direction of Kimberly Senior, could not be better, in the end the whole exercise feels every bit as empty as the behavior Rebeck is trying to decry. And long before it’s all over you might well find yourself posing this question: Who really cares?"
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Hedy Weiss



Daily Herald- Recommended

"...Clever, scathing and swiftly moving, "The Scene" premiered in 2006 at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville and subsequently ran off-Broadway. While Rebeck references the scourge of celebrity culture, this is essentially the story of a dissatisfied, professionally stymied, forty-something man whose affair with a voracious Millennial wrecks both his marriage and his relationship with his best friend."
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Barbara Vitello



Chicago Reader- Somewhat Recommended

"...Theresa Rebeck's prerecession dark comedy follows a truly miserable bunch: Charlie is a fortysomething nonacting actor who lives off his wife's income; Stella is a show runner who hates her fat studio audience; Clea is a home-wrecking social climber; Lewis wants sex no matter the consequences. Kimberly Senior's head-scratching, weirdly austere production overshoots its satirical aim and lands into territory that's flat-out misanthropic. Its treatment of the young socialite at the center, in particular, feels like the sort of grotesque caricature favored by Million Dollar Extreme, not Writers Theatre. "
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Dan Jakes



Chicago On the Aisle- Somewhat Recommended

"...Cold-hearted Clea ultimately changes her claws for venom, and Charlie is dead meat, toast. (Then again, venom/toast, maybe not.) Credit Deanna Myers with embodying - a word I use advisedly - one chilling man-killer. But the play allows little range to either Myers or Montgomery, the latter scarcely doing more than whining and grumbling. Lewis might as well be invisible and the playwright tosses Alvarez's authentic character aside as if she were only complicating this dark farce."
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Lawrence B. Johnson



Around The Town Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...There are many twists and turns in this tense drama, filled with many hysterical moments, and not wanting to spoil any of the ups and downs, I will attempt to keep it “low-profile”. What happens when one person in a relationship is feeling as if their world is gone while the other prospers? How can someone remain a true friend when deep in their heart, they have feelings for the others “woman”? Again, I will not tell you more except to say that the relationship between these characters goes up and down throughout the play, and the smooth direction by Kimberly Senior, keeps the action and the story moving with no dead spots."
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Alan Bresloff



NewCity Chicago- Somewhat Recommended

"...Art doesn't necessarily need to serve as constructive social criticism but for a play resurrected after more than ten years under the auspices of contemporary relevance, some clarification regarding its objectives might have served to deepen its impact."
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Kevin Greene



Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended

"...Beautifully staged on Brian Sidney Bembridge’s flexible, polished plexiglass-and-steel scenic design, accented in shades of black and gray, and stunningly lit by Sarah Hughey, this production will linger with audiences long after the final, heart-stopping scene. Theresa Rebeck’s fierce, darkly humorous morality tale about our current, celebrity-obsessed society, reveals people bent on instant success and immediate gratification. These people have little concern about their future, and this credo is played harshly, but with humor. Charlie’s boy meets (bad) girl story has certainly been told before, but never with so much venom and hostility. As Charlie observes, “The only true pleasure left in the world is trashing other people. Especially when they have something you want.”"
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Colin Douglas



Chicagoland Theater Reviews- Somewhat Recommended

"...I would love to see a production of “The Scene:” with more appropriately female acting components. Still, Montgomery’s performance is worth the price of admission and some patrons may not be as resistant to the production’s Clea as I was. Our theater does not lack for plays in which sex rears its ugly head to bring down a flawed but basically decent man. “The Scene” is embedded in that tradition and has its entertaining moments but with more pinpoint casting it could be better."

Dan Zeff



Picture This Post- Somewhat Recommended

"...If only these people weren’t so short on soul, we’d care more as they trip on the slick surface of their lives. When their plexiglass personas give way to the authentic glass inside, it’s too little too late. At best, watching these people chase their glittering false gods allows us to feel better about our own unremarkable lives."
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Susan Lieberman