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  Too Heavy For Your Pocket at TimeLine Theatre Company

Too Heavy For Your Pocket

TimeLine Theatre Company
615 W. Wellington Ave Chicago

A captivating and complicated tale about the intersection of family, responsibility, and progress at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Bowzie Brandon, his wife Sally, and their best friends Tony and Evelyn see happiness on the horizon when Bowzie gets a scholarship to attend college and improve his family's life. However, when the opportunity to become a Freedom Rider arises, Bowzie leaves his obligations as a husband and friend behind to join the fight against racism in the Deep South. TOO HEAVY FOR YOUR POCKET is a powerful look at the tenuous balance between security and risk, the bonds of love and friendship, and the personal cost of progress.

Thru - Jun 29, 2019

Price: $40-$54

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-281-8463

Running Time: 2hrs, 20mins; one intermission

Nearby Restaurants

  Too Heavy For Your Pocket Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...I can see some thinking "Too Heavy" to be too old-fashioned or even stereotypical. I didn't see the small New York production, but I can tell you that Parsons and his designers treat the work like it's a fine example of classic American realism, rich in poetry, suffused with feeling, longing and upset, and determined to reflect the lives of ordinary people, whatever the urban elites might think."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...Director Ron OJ Parson's richly realized production leaves plenty to ponder. As it winds on, "Too Heavy for Your Pocket" becomes fractured. On one side, it's a domestic drama. On another, it's a commentary on the staggering price activists pay financially and emotionally. The issues compete with each other for dominance, to the play's detriment."
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Catey Sullivan

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Too Heavy dips its toe into issues of racism and civil rights, but it swims more deeply in everyday issues of marital fidelity, sacrifice, responsibility to friends and family, and fulfillment of one's own dreams. It's delightful to see a play that is at once simple and yet produces such profound change for all its characters. With an engaging, interactive lobby display about the Freedom Riders and civil rights movement, TimeLine reminds us that there is always a battle to achieve freedom—and how important that still is 60 years later."
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Josh Flanders

Windy City Times - Recommended

"...Director Ron OJ Parson and a heavy-lifting cast toil mightily to impose on their paint-by-numbers text an intimacy sufficient to draw forth our empathy. However, despite artistic flourishes, Holder's propagandistic devices cannot help but proclaim their inspirational tract-like sensibilities—any more than Bowsie's Hollywood good looks and expertly tailored suit can reflect a rural upbringing and home-sewing skills of loving womenfolk."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...In a play where silences signal so much, one captivating trope is the need to sit still and breathe hard, whether you’re on the margins or at these epicenters. In its ultimate appraisal, progress is always personal. This play reinvents change at its core — and values as they’re forged in choices good and bad."
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Lawrence Bommer

Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Highly Recommended

"...Let's Play 'Highly Recommend' that you see this beautiful and formidable play at Timeline Theatre where a spirit-filled revival awaits and they explore the injustice of Black Americans that had to deal with the shocking truth of the issues of race, gender, power, faith, and politics."
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Rick and Brenda McCain

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...One thing is for sure! When you go to a theatrical production at Timeline Theatre, not only will you be entertained, you will be educated! In their lobby, they always feature items and stories that help with the education portion of the evening ( or afternoon, for a matinee), but it is onstage where they shine. They are currently offering a Chicago "premiere", a drama that goes back to the 1960's and the Civil Rights movement. For many in the audience tonight, a time we lived through and for the younger audience members, a "message" in history that they may not have known about."
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...While parts of the play pivot on love, lust and loneliness, it all feels so much deeper. This is a work that moves the needle forward on what the theater is capable of, with a commendable expenditure of talent and effort on the part of everyone involved in this production. Though I will make an effort in terms of quantity, there is no quality of language I can find to effectively express my gratitude to this show. It is, in summary, a blessing."
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Kevin Greene

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...This awesome, highly engaging and enjoyable new human drama, set against the Civil Rights movement of the early 1960's, is both hard-hitting and heartbreaking. Staged upon Jose Manuel Diaz-Soto's lovely, detailed scenic design, with grass carpeting both indoors and out; lit with brilliance by Maggie Fullilove-Nugent, and costumed with care by Alexia Rutherford in her splendid colorful period frocks, this production marks the Chicago debut of Jireh Breon Holder, a young playwright to watch for in the future."
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Colin Douglas - Highly Recommended

"...Too Heavy for Your Pocket at TimeLine Theatre is both an important play, and a good one. Powerful, but not too heavy to bear, with a rock-star cast directed by Ron OJ Parsons, it tells the story of the Freedom Riders – groups of blacks and whites who traveled through the segregated South in 1961 on Greyhound and Trailway's buses, asserting the new freedoms set under the Civil Rights Act of 1957."
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Bill Esler

Chicago On Stage - Highly Recommended

"...Ultimately, this is a play about the choices we make, the need to stand up for ideals, the disruption that can cause, and the need for forgiveness. Each of us chooses the burdens we bear but, having chosen them, we need to be strong enough to carry them. All of these characters save Sally-Mae have made choices that adversely affect others—Evelyn’s is a hasty and frankly forced and unrealistic moment derived from her pain—and each needs to learn to live with them and learn that this is what humans do: we make decisions, some of which are unfortunate."
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Karen Topham

PicksInSix - Highly Recommended

"...Director Ron OJ Parson, whose cousin was a Freedom Rider of the era, and a rich, vibrant cast artfully illuminate Holder’s absorbing study of the relationship between two couples consumed with a sense of purpose that is uniquely of the moment—characters seemingly plucked out of a town near Nashville in 1961 to tell a story of struggle against racial inequality."
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Ed Tracy

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   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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