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  Twilight Bowl at Goodman Theatre

Twilight Bowl

Goodman Theatre
170 N. Dearborn Street Chicago

Six young women. One small town. Different lanes. After graduating from a small Wisconsin high school, Sam heads to college on scholarship-but her cousin Jaycee's future isn't looking as bright. As the young women and their friends face adulthood, their local bowling alley becomes a place to celebrate triumphs, confront challenges and forge new identities. With her signature grace, wit and compassion, Rebecca Gilman questions the blueprint for a successful life, and embraces the unknown on the road ahead.

Thru - Mar 10, 2019

Price: 10 - $45

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 312-443-3800

Running Time: 1hr, 30mins

Goodman Theatre Seating Charts

Suggested Nearby Restaurant

  Twilight Bowl Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...Few plays exist about small-town Wisconsin. Even fewer serious plays. Even fewer serious plays that make you feel like the writer actually knows these communities. Many metro Chicagoans - this one included - spend occasional time in small towns up north, envying the sense of belonging and loving the people, but likely also feeling eager to get back to the city and its opportunities. "Twilight Bowl" captures much of how that feels, except the work comes from the point of view of those young people who face a terribly difficult decision about home."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"..."Twilight Bowl" then could be seen as a snapshot of what a one-factory town looks like four decades after the factory closes. Sadly, Reynolds looks like a lot of rural America does these days. The attainable and sustainable middle-class life of "Soups, Stews and Casseroles: 1976" has been pummeled out of existence by a dearth of good jobs (especially for people without college degrees), a general eroding of resources and, lately, the opioid crisis."
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Kris Vire

Daily Herald - Highly Recommended

"...With "Twilight Bowl," Gilman dramatizes the key moments in life when young people become aware that they need to move on from blaming their parents for their situations and setbacks. At the same time, the drama functions as an unsettling snapshot of steep college expenses and limited career prospects faced by working-class Americans."
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Scott C. Morgan

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Erica Weiss's direction mostly allows plenty of breathing space, and Gilman's story balances uncomfortable group dynamics with honest one-on-one encounters. A conversation between Sam and bartender Brielle (Mary Taylor), who had her own abortive attempt at attending college, teases out the emotional strains of trying to fit into a place you're not sure you deserve to be (or want to be) in the first place with compelling empathy. But a scene involving Maddy (Angela Morris), Sam's self-absorbed North Shore college acquaintance, leans too heavily on rich-girl cliches even as we learn some disturbing things about Maddy's own circumstances."
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Kerry Reid

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...Although the show stumbles over a few cultural fault lines, Gilman maintains a balanced attitude, warm yet clear-eyed, to the six women—an approach echoed by Weiss’s production, which sits comfortably with the characters’ contradictions. Chrisler’s spiky, wounded performance is matched by those of her costars, particularly Thompson, Taylor and Morris. And in the play’s final scene, Savoy makes subtle adjustments to her performance that almost render Gilman’s script moot; her movements say it all. Few of the women in Twilight Bowl have promising futures ahead of them, but it’s hard to look at these actors and not think they’re destined for great things."
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Alex Huntsberger

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...These small-town survivors manage to make a case for not living with a lot of people. Gilman and Weiss hold an accurate if unpolished mirror up to this struggling sextet. Some audience members will surely see themselves reflected back. Others will simply enjoy their own defining differences from characters who never come too close for comfort. It's 90 minutes without a gutter ball."
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Lawrence Bommer

Splash Magazine - Recommended

"...On an obvious level, this is a sharp eyed look at class divisions; it's a periscope inside small town life. More subtly, it's an expose of the hatred Americans have for those of their number who succumb to drugs/alcohol, surely a form of self loathing since so many of us do succumb. It's also an analysis of the strength one can gather from religious faith. Finally, it's a shrewd feminist piece; the men as love interest are offscreen and vastly secondary to these characters needs to get work, to support themselves. Even sex is portrayed as mainly a solitary occupation, accomplished by toys for that purpose, sold by other women."
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Debra Davy

Around The Town Chicago - Recommended

"...If you are a bowler, and in particular if you are a bowler who has been hanging around the bar on an “off night”, you will feel somewhat at home from the very start of Rebecca Gilman’s “Twilight Bowl”. Walking into the smaller of the theaters at The Goodman, The Owen, where there is no curtain, one is grabbed by the set ( Regina Garcia truly has it just right), and almost feel that you are in a typical small town bowling center where the pins are noisy, the bar is “smelly” and the pizza tastes like cardboard, but yummy with a beer! From the beer signs and the wall hangings, one feels that we are in rural America, and in this case, with the Green Bay Packers logo on the wall leading to the lanes, we know we must be up north in Wisconsin, which is where our story takes place."
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Alan Bresloff

WTTW - Recommended

"...This play doesn’t pack the punch of Sarah DeLappe’s “The Wolves,” another all-female story recently produced at the Goodman. But it is a telling depiction of a crucial transitional period in the lives of a cross-section of young women who are at once lost and found in the American heartland."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Theatre Review - Recommended

"...While Rebecca Gilman’s new play is one more group portrait of ordinary people, it’s probably safe to say that it hits home with a certain element of the population. Young women will find this play particularly appealing. Anyone who’s been brought up in, or has at least spent time in, a small town will recognize these characters and empathize with their passions and problems. But for the confirmed urbanite, this play may be a fresh, eye-opening experience, with a new look at how, deep down inside, we’re all cut from the same cloth."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Highly Recommended

"...Rebecca Gilman is a nationally recognized dramatist so her achievement in “Twilight Bowl” is no surprise. But the six actors are not household names in Chicagoland theater and their careers to date reside basically at the storefront level. All in all, they collectively are another testimony to the bottomless acting pool in Chicagoland theater."
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Dan Zeff

Third Coast Review - Somewhat Recommended

"...The play is Twilight Bowl by Rebecca Gilman, in a world premiere at Goodman Theatre, directed by Erica Weiss with an all-female cast and crew. Bowling is a backdrop throughout-the sport is a symbol of the working class life these young women dream of escaping or are complacent about."
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Nancy Bishop

The Hawk Chicago - Recommended

"...While the play never physically shifts its view from Reynolds and the Twilight Bowl (in a masterfully crafted set Regina Garcia), the questions it raises can be applied to so many timely issues as we begin to contemplate systemic problems and their effects. Choice, after all, is a privilege. And Twilight Bowl does a “gorsh” (as Sharlene often says) darn good job of reminding us of this."
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Emily Schmidt

Chicago Theater and Arts - Somewhat Recommended

"...As a female coming of age story it has some interesting points about making choices and how background matters even if these girls set down in a different place would have a different perspective."
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Jodie Jacobs

Chicago On Stage - Recommended

"...Just how much do we control our own fates? It’s obvious that we all start out in different places with different advantages and disadvantages, but is that it? Is everything in our lives determined by the chance of where we were born and who our parents are? Clearly that is a large part of it, but Gilman shows in this play that our own decisions have something significant to do with it as well. It may not be an earth-shattering revelation, but it is well worth remembering."
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Karen Topham

PicksInSix - Highly Recommended

"...This is a poignant coming-of-age story, a fascinating exploration of emerging personalities that are the sum of their individual and collective life experiences. As the women of "Twilight Bowl" confront challenging personal situations, and struggle to cope with the anxiety their decisions cause, they run headlong into the small-town nature of things-rural values that can be overwhelming for anyone not accustomed to the unique pace and rhythm. Or perhaps more to the point, in the rush to escape where we have been, let's not forget that the sense of security of our youth, and those erstwhile relationships, will always be part of who we are and how we would like to be remembered. "
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Ed Tracy

Picture This Post - Recommended

"...Heartfelt storytelling and masterful performances make Twilight Bowl a story to remember, highlighting the important beauty of the everyday."
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Lauren Katz

  Twilight Bowl 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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