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The Wolves
The Wolves

The Wolves
Goodman Theatre
Thru - Mar 18, 2018

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Goodman Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Highly Recommended

"...A Pulitzer Prize finalist last year, "The Wolves" is a formidably precise piece of observational writing. It is remarkable in two ways. One is its careful avoidance of each and every archetype that afflicts almost every other adult-penned play (or movie, or TV show) about teenagers, especially girls. The other is a rich understanding of a fundamental truth about the adolescent life: quotidian struggles about, say, how you are going to get home or tolerate the bullying of the girl next to you, coexist in the growing brain with worries about concussions or life-changing injuries, and with the kind of great and profound thoughts that might save America from itself."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times- Highly Recommended

"...From poverty to pop culture to plenty of personal secrets, DeLappe's dialogue bounces around while these young athletes - so serious about soccer they compete in a winter indoor season and hope to get seen by college scouts - stretch and sprint and run passing drills on the netted-in stage of Goodman's intimate Owen Theatre."
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Steven Oxman

Daily Herald- Highly Recommended

"...One of the best things about her direction is the time she allows for scenes to unfold. At 90 marvelous minutes, "The Wolves" is brisk, but this production never felt hurried. A pall descends, realization dawns and recovery begins, and there's enough time for all of it."
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Barbara Vitello

Chicago Reader- Somewhat Recommended

"...However, the play itself is emphatically a play for and about adolescents that seems modeled on mainstream teen sports flicks, never quite living up to the pitch of its eye-popping opening number. The snatches of conversations sketch out character types-the brainy one, the bossy leader, the bad girl, the sidekick, and so on—but none is given the means to develop, and the drama produced by a nasty twist of fate is contrived and then left unexplored. As far as landmarks in feminist theater go, The Wolves is not quite a stepping stone."
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Irene Hsiao

Chicago On the Aisle- Highly Recommended

"...A fast 90 minutes trace the Wolves' arc of development, week after week, as these 16- and 17-year-olds coalesce into a fighting force. Meanwhile, that other towering season - adulthood - looms inevitable. Both are transformations thrilling to contemplate. There are no mirrors, no men, not even a coach within earshot to inhibit the high-energy interchange that flows freely as these awesome almost-women flex their muscles and get ready to contend."
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Nancy Malitz

Let's Play at ChicagoNow- Recommended

"...Three components made this play intriguing to watch. One, a sports play that had a cast of all girls (which is uncommon and rarely done) played out in the theater. Two, a makeshift soccer field created a real-life scenario which allowed us to see the girls in a comfortable setting. Three, growing pains were displayed right before our very eyes as we watched the girls find their voice and their identity."
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Rick and Brenda McCain

Around The Town Chicago- Recommended

"...As someone who has spent many years around soccer, in particular, girl's/women's soccer, watching the Chicago premiere of Sarah DeLappe's "The Wolves", brought back some detailed memories of the days when my daughter played the game- on both house leagues and travel teams. While my son also was very involved, there is a major difference in the girl's teams, and in fact, the girls themselves. This 90 minute production, which takes place on a practice field next to the actual field, allows us to meet the females of the team known as "The Wolves"."
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...What "The Wolves" offers is rare when it comes to media, even theater, a medium that prides itself on depth and honesty but struggles in a major way with a lack of representation in enormous fields of identity. If theater's main priority is to show the complexities of male middle-aged whiteness (and The Goodman is as unequivocally guilty in this respect as they are in very good company) than play's like "The Wolves," an invigorating sign of a potential future for the stage and beyond, will continue to feel more like visions from an alternate universe of parity and actual commitment, rather than mere lip service, to the value of representation. There are champions in our midst but it won't matter if we do not give them a chance to play."
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Kevin Greene

WTTW- Highly Recommended

"...Under the direction of Vanessa Stalling (who previously demonstrated her gift for “choreographing” a story in “United Flight 232”), the aerobically gifted ensemble here consistently dazzles with its ability to stay in near-constant, hard-driving motion with a ball while also talking up a storm. And they must be named: Erin O’Shea, Angela Alise, Isa Arciniegas, Taylor Blim, Aurora Real de Asua, Natalie Joyce, Cydney Moody, Sarah Price and Mary Tilden, with Meighan Gerachis making a brief but moving appearance in the play’s final moments."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended

"...Vanessa Stalling's production of Sarah DeLappe's brilliant debut play is commanding and so impressive. Her cast is a revelation and, while they comprise a team, each individual surprisingly stands out. Every teenage girl and her parents should make an afternoon or evening of this production. There's much that can be learned and appreciated together, particularly between mothers and daughters, despite the often frank discussions and salty language that abounds. This is truly a must-see production that will be remembered for years to come."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Theater Reviews- Highly Recommended

"...Under Vanessa Stalling's spot-on directing, the actors blend into a seamless whole that should render the Jeff Award for ensemble performance mute come the end of the season. Most importantly, every character looks like a teenager. I suspect that most of the cast members will never see 25 again, but they have the look and sound of high school girls, which is essential to the authenticity of DeLappe's writing. Each performer captures the teenage spirit in her own way, but the ensemble quality never wavers."
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Dan Zeff

Chicago On Stage- Highly Recommended

"...This is the kind of must-see production I love to discover: a play that blends in elements not usually seen on a stage and makes for a new, thrilling theatrical experience. One thing is certain: The Wolves is unlike anything you've seen before. It takes ordinary kids with ordinary things happening in their lives and somehow turns it into something extraordinary. And if you can remain unmoved by the final team cheer of "We are the wolves" that ends this play, you're either dead or far more stoic than I am. This is a play I will remember for a long, long time."
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Karen Topham

Picture This Post- Highly Recommended

"...The reality of being a teenage girl is brought to life with staunch realism in the highly entertaining THE WOLVES. This ensemble portrait of a girls soccer team is a beautiful coming of age drama that captures the pressures and horrors to be found along the way."
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Stephanie Dykes