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  This Bitter Earth at Theater Wit

This Bitter Earth

Theater Wit
1229 W Belmont Ave Chicago

In this poetic romance, deep love is challenged by divisive political realities. Jesse, an introspective black playwright, finds his choices called into question when his boyfriend, Neil, a white Black Lives Matter activist, calls him out for his political apathy. As passions and priorities collide, this couple is forced to reckon with issues of race, class and the bravery it takes to love out loud.

Presented by About Face Theatre

Thru - Dec 8, 2018

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-975-8150

  This Bitter Earth Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...Set among highly literate urbanites and verbose in its language, “Bitter Earth” is one of those Ivy League, post-MFA plays wherein you often find yourself wanting to leap from your seat, tell the over-educated characters to stop jammering on, quit analyzing each other close to the point of self-destruction, to just enjoy all the love and fulfillment that life, education and money offer — ideally, before their youth vanishes into the ether."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Chronicling the characters' relationship in fragmented, nonlinear fashion, This Bitter Earth challenges its actors to express the story's highly charged emotional through line authentically. Under Mikael Burke's direction, Brown and Desmarais meet the play's demands, with Brown especially delivering a performance of gripping, painful intensity."
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Albert Williams

Stage and Cinema - Somewhat Recommended

"...The gulf is clear from the start. Joe Schermoly’s set consists of interconnected boxes that create shelves which suggest two apartments separated by a crosswalk. It’s an apt depiction of the divide between the interracial gay lovers in This Bitter Earth. An earnest if unfulfilled one-act by Harrison David Rivers, this Chicago premiere from About Face Theatre contrasts and critiques conventional expectations about who’s the activist and who’s the observer."
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Lawrence Bommer

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...Theatergoers will emerge thinking about and discussing many issues, from how this bitter earth still can produce the fruit of love. Audiences will talk about just how transparent gay relationships should be in the 21st century, and still remain safe. They’ll discuss the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement and how it relates to all lives. This, unfortunately, is the climate all of us must now navigate in today’s anger-fueled world."
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Colin Douglas

Chicago On Stage - Highly Recommended

"...This Bitter Earth couldn’t be more timely, and that is unfortunate. As I said, in a better world this country would have been long over its issues. That we are not, however, and that we now have an administration that actively fans the fires of hatred and discrimination, makes a show like this, which is one of the year’s best, a must-see. It’s not perfect—there is an infidelity subplot thrown in apparently because it is de rigueur to include such subplots in all gay narratives—but it gets so much right that it’s hard to quibble. It’s a brilliant beginning to About Face Theatre’s 23rd season."
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Karen Topham

Rescripted - Recommended

"...this show is beautifully acted, and beautifully directed. It may not represent my viewpoint, but I can see it is deftly written and some of the lines will stay with you as you leave the theatre. Sheldon Brown and Daniel Desmarais give inspiring and charismatic performances that keep the engine of this play going under the direction of Mikhail Burke. I am interested and encouraged by About Face’s to program more work by queer artists of color. It is hopefully the start of breaking apart the monolith of Black experience onstage, and dismissing the unrealistic expectation that a Black body onstage speaks for us all."
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Regina Victor

  This Bitter Earth Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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