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  To Catch A Fish Reviews
To Catch A Fish
To Catch A Fish

To Catch A Fish
TimeLine Theatre Company
Thru - Jul 1, 2018

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TimeLine Theatre Company

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Highly Recommended

"...Walker’s work alone is so rich that it will stay with you as you head home. It’s hard to play a mentally challenged character; you get compared with everyone who has played Lenny in “Of Mice and Men,” and condescension or stereotype lurks around every corner. Walker navigates all of that so beautifully; this is one of the best performances of the season. Equally striking is how such actors as Al’Jaleel McGhee, Tiffany Addison and Linda Bright Clay succeed in playing people close to Terry and whose work thus has to be underpinned by guilt. AnJi White, playing a local cop, must ply the same turf. It feels like all of these artists are going to some tough places."
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Chris Jones



Chicago Sun Times- Highly Recommended

"...Parsons brings the audience into Terry's world from the start, painfully. Walker has a gentle, warm and placid presence that serves the role well. His careful speech, his mirroring of those around him, his way of deflecting difficulties with a shrug and a grin - all fill in the dots of a multi-dimensional character. Terry is brain-damaged, but in Neveu's script he's never infantilized or without dignity."
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Catey Sullivan



Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended

"...Foregrounding the ripples in the lives of low-income people of color who otherwise get buried in stories about government corruption makes sense; as Neveu puts it in a program interview, "It has to be about the effect of the con, not the con itself." Still, I wonder how To Catch a Fish would play without TimeLine's immaculately detailed lobby display that fills in seemingly critical contextual blanks, particularly the systems at play that incentivized agents to behave like corporate sales bros goosing their numbers by any means necessary."
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Dan Jakes



Windy City Times- Highly Recommended

"...Ron OJ Parsons directs an ensemble exercising commendable restraint to inhabit their midsized-city personae to the smallest stereotype-free nuance—in particular, Geno Walker, who ramps down the classroom Mice-and-Men mummery to keep the visible boundaries of Terry's cognitive powers reliant on the perceptions of outsiders whose motives ( as Neveu reminds us repeatedly ) suffer ambiguities unacknowledged even by their owners. In the end, nobody has died, but neither has anybody gained anything by their experience. Indeed, the lesson we take away from Neveu's parable is that decisions based in "jobs that make you choose to lie" engender losses only serving to reinforce the dynamics of bitterness and despair."
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Mary Shen Barnidge



Stage and Cinema- Recommended

"...It's an inhuman term, "collateral damage." Usually it's reserved for supposedly dispensable victims, necessary sacrifices for a nobler cause. But what if the bigger picture ain't noble? Then, as Arthur Miller hauntingly says in the passive voice, "Attention must be paid." In the inaugural offering from TimeLine Theatre Company's Playwright Collective, Brett Neveu, a much-praised and -produced Chicago playwright, does just that: He chronicles a cruel tale that sadly stands for many more abuses of authority."
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Lawrence Bommer



Let's Play at ChicagoNow- Highly Recommended

"...Director Ron OJ Parson once again delivers with fantastic staging in small places with "To Catch a Fish." It has cast a net of an even bigger fish of injustice at the right time by shedding light on the apparent truth of African Americans human rights being disregarding; something that is too often seen as a norm in our society especially within the Black community. This play delivers a fresh perspective, reminding us that liberty and justice are NOT for all."
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Rick and Brenda McCain



Around The Town Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...The story is filled with mystery, romance, relationships, family, friends, and how each has an effect on the other. The ending is quick and to the point and may strike you as not what you would have wanted. It is the characters that are not who you think they are that makes the ending seem somewhat unfair and unjust. But, as this is a Timeline production, you know you will have something to discuss on the way home, or even the next day."
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Alan Bresloff



NewCity Chicago- Somewhat Recommended

"...I left the theater that night feeling as though I'd missed a step on a staircase or rather that I'd watched a play that didn't have an ending. I spent the majority of my time the next day rereading the articles from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and tracking down the episode of This American Life about the case. So perhaps therein lies the strength of "To Catch a Fish": if the goal of this play is to get more people interested, involved, and informed about the events of "Operation Fearless" then it succeeded."
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Emma Couling



Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended

"...This world premiere is spellbinding. It's an edgy story that oozes with suspense and hostility. Brett Neveu's drama offers a taut story about characters who we really care about. It's all the more fascinating because it's real, closely based upon a true incident that happened, not long ago, and just a couple of hours away from Chicago. With the recent ambush and shooting of a Chicago ATF agent currently in the headlines, this play resonates even louder with Windy City audiences. Baiting the hook to lure this fish out of water will leave audiences breathless."
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Colin Douglas



The Fourth Walsh- Highly Recommended

"...I enjoyed TO CATCH A FISH immensely. Neveu provided the bait. Parsons hooked me. And the talented ensemble reeled me in. My play date and I started talking about the play at curtain and were still texting about it the next morning."
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Katy Walsh



Third Coast Review- Somewhat Recommended

"...The production is peppered with some earnest performances throughout, anchored by Regina Garcia's evocative city set and Mike Durst's understated lighting. And I was particularly moved by the final moments of Fish, where director Parsons and crew manage to land on a note of sudden pathos (I was reminded of the famous fate of Lennie in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men). But even so, I left the theater wondering how powerful it might've been had the rest of the play built to such a moment with clear stakes and concise storytelling. I think Brett Neveu might have an effective, socially conscious thriller beneath the surface of this new play, but I don't believe he's caught it just yet."
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Matthew Nerber



Picture This Post- Recommended

"...Geno Walker's nuanced performance is so spot on that you should prepare to be jolted when his real person emerges for the curtain bow. This writer was immediately reminded of Lenny in Mice and Men-and especially of John Malkovich's performance in that role."
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Amy Munice



Chicago On Stage- Somewhat Recommended

"...To Catch a Fish, which really isn't about fishing despite many references that attempt to solidify the metaphor, is a fine effort by Nevue but I think it needs to be workshopped a bit more before it can be called a polished play. Parson and the cast do everything they can with it, but it ultimately falls just a bit short of success."
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Karen Topham