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  Three Sisters at The Den Theatre

Three Sisters

The Den Theatre
1329-1333 N. Milwaukee Chicago

The Hypocrites explore the absurd, existential comedy of Chekhov's Prozorov sisters, whose daily lives in a drab provincial town pale in comparison to their imagined futures in the big city. Director Geoff Button follows the gradually building devastation that results from the sisters' comic missteps.

Thru - Jun 6, 2015

Price: $28

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 773-697-3830

  Three Sisters Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...Button's production does something else that I've not seen. He and his cast actually make the case that the Prozorovs' need to be seen as genteel carries the seeds of their own destruction. They've set themselves apart from the crude townsfolk, and their only source of worldly companionship is the local garrison of soldiers. As a consequence, they're outmatched by the interloper who goes for what she wants — whether it's kicking out their aged nanny (Mary Poole) by saying "I like to run a tight ship and she's dead weight" or carrying on a brazen affair with her husband's boss."
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Kerry Reid

Chicago Reader - Recommended

"...Button has built a nice hybrid here. Overwhelmed by the social norms and rotten choices that keep them stuck in place, Masha, Irina, Olga, Andrei, and the gang are necessarily condemned to live in subtext. That's just who they are. Button clearly appreciates their situation and therefore finds ways to usher them into the playful Hypocrites aesthetic without subverting, betraying, or reducing them to caricature. The dialogue is colloquial but respectful; the acting comic but never outlandish. A few repeated actions say a lot. And there's a color-coded design scheme that very blatantly tells you all you need to know about the flow of power in the Prozorov household yet somehow doesn't disrupt the sense of naturalism. (That color motif feels as ominous and fascinating as watching the time-lapsed progress of a tumor in a brain scan.)"
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Tony Adler

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...The concept of mobility-geographical, economical, occupational-is a cornerstone of our national character, subconsciously reminding us of opportunities for reinvention despite our efforts to sympathize with those of more limited options. The words uttered by an agile ensemble deftly navigating multiple levels of consciousness may reduce the distance between Chekhov's world and ours, but it also suggests that the blame for his characters' unhappiness might lie in themselves, not in their stars."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Gapers Block - Recommended

"...Director Geoff Button adapted Chekhov's script to use more modern language without trivializing it or breaking the mood of the story. Both his adaptation and direction are very strong. The eponymous Prosorov sisters lead the excellent 14-person cast in a story that progresses over several years in a provincial Russian town at the turn of the 20th century. The sisters, all in their 20s, yearn to move back to Moscow, which they left 11 years ago when their father assumed the command of a brigade in the rural area. Now their father is dead and the town is dominated by the presence of the military base and its officers."
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Nancy Bishop

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Barlow's hard switch from shy and nervous to imperious witch makes Natasha come across a little Disney-stepmother, and a particular staging choice regarding the other characters' tentative objections to Natasha's imposition is leaned on a bit hard. But Williamson, Williams, Ewing and Gavel are precisely in tune as the endearing, frustrating, charming, self-sabotaging and all too human Prozorov sibs. Will they ever get to Moscow? Will any of us?"
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Kris Vire

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...Two generations before Jean-Paul Sartre and his coterie of French existentialist playwrights, there was Anton Chekhov, dealing with the same core moral issue of accepting accountability for one's own life and the hellish consequences of evading that necessity. Such is the specter that confronts the characters in Chekhov's "Three Sisters," which the Hypocrites have brought to the stage under the penetrating, indeed searing direction of Geoff Button, who also adapted the play."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...Perfectly cast in the titular roles, Mary Williamson, Hilary Williams, and Lindsey Gavel easily draw us into Chekhov's world and gain our sympathy. We laugh and cry with them, hate Natasha (played icily by Erin Barlow) with them, and share their fondness for the soldiers garrisoned in town. Williams' Irina is particularly likeable, cheerful and cute. As the tortured Masha, Gavel expressively presents the conflicting sides of her character, caught between an unlovable husband and an unfortunate lover."
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Barnaby Hughes

Chicago Stage Standard - Somewhat Recommended

"...The production’s design is symptomatic of how The Hypocrites tackle this problem. William Boles’s in-the-round set first presents us a dining room where pastel pinks subtly dominate. This is the color of faded nobility, a sepia-like portrait of the Prozorov sisters. As the play progresses the pink is eaten away by a garish green which we first see in the belt of the pretty, “socially inferior”, utterly banal, implacable Natasha (Erin Barlow). She is the woman that the bookish and awkward Prozorov paterfamilias, Andrei (Joel Ewing, marries. By act three, when the set evocatively takes us to the house garden, the insidious green is everywhere, including in Andrei’s jacket."

Hector Pascual Alvarez

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...The Hypocrite's production of Anton Chekov's "Three Sisters" is being billed as an adaptation, but Geoff Button's version, though the dialogue is slightly modernized, is remarkably faithful to the Russian playwright's script. It is showing at The Hypocrites new artistic home, The Den Theatre, which boasts two floors with elegant lobbies and bars, a huge complex of studios in which to present plays, and, on more than one occasion (including the night that I attended "Three Sisters"), a non-functioning cooling system which threatened to interfere with the illusion of a Russian Winter Circa 1900."
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Lawrence Riordan

Chicago Theatre Review - Recommended

"...The Hypocrites’ production of this Russian classic is solid. It presents Chekov’s comedy with a natural rhythm, never forcing the laughs or situations. Throughout this four act play, audiences watch a family trying to cope over the years with change and disappointment. Despite everything, the three sisters continue to struggle and support each other throughout the years, ever hoping and dreaming of something better, always with an eye toward Moscow."
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Colin Douglas

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