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This Bitter Earth
This Bitter Earth

This Bitter Earth
About Face Theatre at Theater Wit
Thru - Dec 8, 2018

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About Face Theatre at Theater Wit

  • 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