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  Watch on the Rhine at The Artistic Home

Watch on the Rhine

The Artistic Home
1376 W Grand Chicago

In this inspirational play, Hellman presents a pre-World War II America with a call to action aimed directly at the heart of the family. What at first appears charming drawing room comedy quickly turns to mystery and international intrigue. Family ties are tested, politics are questioned and one man steps out from safety to make the ultimate sacrifice. In Watch on the Rhine, Hellman challenges us to examine our own complacency in the face of world events, even when the atrocities occur an ocean away.

Thru - Nov 16, 2014

Price: $28-$32

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Running Time: 2hrs, 30mins; two intermission

  Watch on the Rhine Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...The nagging issue here is incompetence with foreign accents (including a quasi-French accent from the housekeeper). An actor's finesse with an accent has nothing to do, really, with his or her ability to capture the shape of a character's thoughts and emotions — and yet it's hard for any of it to ring true if it sounds phony. Volkers pushes through anyway with a performance of coiled, thuggish menace barely concealed under the beefy surface of his staggering entitlement and clenched jaw of European courtliness."
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Nina Metz

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Due to the script's old-fashioned drawing-room structure, Cody Estle's staging often feels stodgy despite the cast's best efforts (as the matriarch, Kathy Scambiatterra in particular has a way with a wisecrack). Still, the final showdown between idealism and self-interest remains stirring and relevant."
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Zac Thompson

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...Plays of this period rely more on dialogue than on visual imagery for their narratives, but the actors of the Artistic Home never stumble during the lengthy speeches—frequently didactic, but always articulate—that Hellman demands of them. Under Cody Estle's direction, a heavy-lifting acting ensemble ( featuring in the roles of the Mueller youngsters, a trio of pre-adolescent troupers with resumés as impressive as those of the adults ) navigate their text with never a misstep, while the seasoned technical team deftly transforms their West Town storefront into a mid-Atlantic mansion teeming with museum-accurate ambience."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Gapers Block - Recommended

"...This production is marked by strong acting, as we have come to expect from the Artistic Home crew. West is riveting as Kurt, the anti-fascist fighter. Volkers as the Romanian count is menacing from his first appearance. Scambiatterra excels as Fanny. The three children are all poised and articulate performers but Dahlborn as the linguistically precocious Bodo, the youngest Muller, shines in his role. Collins, Freund and Bedwell also give fine performances; there is not a wrong note among the cast."
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Nancy Bishop

ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...The Artistic Home's production is well acted and nicely staged (scenic design by Jeff Kmiec). Kathy Scambiattera was fabulous as the wacky Fanny. Scot West was strong as the idealistic anti-fascist Kurt. My only problem with this production lies with the use of accents. Lorraine Freund's French accent was too thick and since she also spoke too fast, she became difficult to understand. And Joshua J. Volkers' Romanian accent was so accurate that with his tendancy to speak much too fast, he too was difficult to understand. At the first intermission, several patrons audibly stated they couldn't understand the maid or the Romanian. I blame the dialect coach for not slowing down and getting the actors to enunciate better of they are going to use a thick accent. Scot West used a German accent but we could understand his every word."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...Watch on the Rhine is a great choice for anyone interested in history and politics. You will leave with the same hopes that Lillian Hellman had when penning this piece in 1943: can peace ever come to the lands we call home?"

David Zak

  Watch on the Rhine 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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