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  Vieux Carre at Raven Theatre

Vieux Carre

Raven Theatre
6157 N. Clark St Chicago

A nameless, newly-transplanted, innocent, aspiring writer who is struggling with his literary career, poverty, and homosexuality survives amid the other starving and ailing tenants of a rooming house in 1930's New Orleans. This auto-biographical tragicomedy is filled to the brim with sexuality, desperation and loneliness woven together through a poetry unique to Williams.

Thru - Jun 28, 2014

Price: $22-$45

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 773-338-2177

Nearby Restaurants

  Vieux Carre Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...Wisely, director Cody Estle's staging for Raven Theatre retains a strong aura of period decay and poverty (aided by Ray Toler's moldering set and Greg Hofmann and Garvin Jellison's gothic-crepuscular light scheme), while punching up the essential motif of all of Williams' work — the never-ending loneliness of being human and the sometimes-humiliating measures we'll take to find refuge in another person."
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Kerry Reid

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Rounding out this crew are two fallen southern ladies, both literally starving, and Mrs. Wire (JoAnn Montemurro), the landlady from hell, who in her desperation and despair is ultimately moving. The characters will feel familiar to anyone who knows Williams's work, but while this play isn't as aesthetically satisfying as his masterpieces (Streetcar, The Glass Menagerie), Raven Theatre's production is a must-see for devotees."
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Suzanne Scanlon

Windy City Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...Under director Cody Estle, this perfectly lovely production of Vieux Carre plays to the rich comedy of Act I, the eccentric range of characters and the theme of constant yearning for connection-be it love or merely a momentary break from loneliness-found throughout Tennessee Williams' works. Estle has made solid casting choices and respects Williams' words and intent. His lively pacing avoids lugubrious passages, and emphasizes the work's kaleidoscopic nature. Unlike some young directors, Estle seems happy to interpret the text and not impose a dubious personal concept. I admire this in him, and it works quite well for Vieux Carre."
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Jonathan Abarbanel

Centerstage - Recommended

"...All the misery and horror here come dangerously close to the edge of camp a few times but director Cody Estle and his cast do a good job of reigning in the excesses. Vieux Carré is no masterpiece, but it’s an interesting piece of drama well worth reviving."

Rory Leahy

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...It's a remarkable ensemble effort throughout, but in the relationship between the Writer and Nightingale, Estle really touches on something special. Pitiful and almost predatory, Casey acts as an opening to a world the young writer knows he's a part of but keeps at a personal distance. It's a curious thing to see a young man look at his future with equal parts skepticism and empathy, and Olwin and Casey capture the strange dynamic perfectly."
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Dan Jakes

Theatre By Numbers - Recommended

"..."Vieux Carre" is rendered beautifully onstage at the Raven with wallpaper tears, plaster cracks and burned out light bulbs. It is languid even in the face of enormous stakes. It takes these tenants some convincing that the inevitable dissolution of their lives and relationships has begun. We in the aisles wait patiently for them, already well educated in the downward trajectory to expect from William's iconic characters (There's an equal cultural significance to Stanley Kowalski, be he a brooding Marlon Brando or a singing, dancing Ned Flanders). There is not even much shock to the sex and violence that punctuate rainy evenings at the Vieux Carre that our Netflix queues haven't adequately prepared us for."
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Sean Margaret Wagner

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...Raven Theatre’s very fine production of Tennessee Williams’ “Vieux Carré” bespeaks that lyrical playwright in the long, sad twilight of his creative career and, indeed, his life. It is a look back into the predawn of Williams’ emergence as an important voice, a play filled with rich characters of meager means, and the lean, fierce eloquence of this account directed by Cody Estle gets it wonderfully right."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...Jo Ann Montemurro and Ty Olwin together with Will Casey were each outstanding. The eerie tone and the depth of despair that wreaks from this group becomes drama that works on stage. Vieux Carre is a treasure that gives us hints into Tennessee Williams’ life after The Glass Menagerie. The Raven Theatre production is worth seeing."
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Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Highly Recommended

"...Although Vieux Carre, remains to this day one of Williams' lesser known and less successful works-that is, if you count success by the number of productions and the length of its runs--the play should not be dismissed."
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Carole Kuhrt Brewer

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...One of Tennessee Williams‘ last plays, this drama is primarily a series of nearly unrelated vignettes rather than one continuous story. The building, which becomes a character itself, remains the one unifying element. With its scattered structure, Williams may have provided inspiration for other plays, such as Lanford Wilson’s “The Hot L Baltimore. However, Raven Theatre’s excellent, much-welcome production provides clues to what may have molded one of America’s greatest playwrights into an artistic genius."
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Colin Douglas

  Vieux Carre 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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