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  Yankee Tavern at The Greenhouse Theater Center

Yankee Tavern

The Greenhouse Theater Center
2257 N Lincoln Avenue Chicago

Since its debut in 2008, Yankee Tavern has met with rave reviews from critics and theatergoers across the nation including The New York Times calling Yankee Tavern "Intriguing and absorbing!" and the Daily News says it is "One helluva show by a superb playwright who has slyly fashioned an edge-of-your-seat thriller." The jukebox inside the Yankee Tavern stopped in the middle of "Bye, bye, Miss American Pie" as the first hijacked plane impacted the north tower of the World Trade Center on September 11. Inside the walls of this crumbling New York tavern, a young couple (Ian Paul Custer* and Darci Nalepa) finds themselves caught up in conversations of what happened that day and who is telling the truth. Dietz's acclaimed and dramatic thriller is a fierce, funny and ultimately mind-bending work of theatrical power that grips the audience until the final word.

Thru - Mar 22, 2015

Price: $29-$39

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 773-404-7336

Running Time: 1hr, 40mins; one intermission

The Greenhouse Theater Center Seating Charts

Nearby Restaurants

  Yankee Tavern Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...Set in a bar in New York City, a place where the owner has a mysterious personal connection to international counterterrorism even as he serves up Rolling Rocks to weird conspiracy theorists on his bar stools, "Yankee Tavern," seen in Chicago for the first time, is a very sly play from a highly accomplished craftsman of the theater. It accomplishes a number of things in the theater that are very difficult to do at once and has many useful things to say about how most of us stake out a position that rejects what we see as outlandish conspiracy theories, even as we remain less than convinced that the government is dispensing the whole truth."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...The title of Steven Dietz’s play, “Yankee Tavern,” is a bit of a red herring as it calls to mind the communal bar scene of television’s “Cheers.” But Dietz, whose play is receiving a zesty Chicago premiere by American Blues Theater, is on to something considerably more intriguing than congenial fellowship and beer as he homes in on the twisted web of lies, conspiracy theories, denial and walk-on-the-wild-side black comedy that ensnares his four characters."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Naturally, the drama unfolds in that nexus of can-you-top-this speculation, the urban American bar. Having inherited the title joint from his dad, Adam has also inherited Ray, a clever whack job whose novel theories on everything from JFK to the hidden second moon are rendered all the more interesting by his seemingly infinite store of facts. It's all creepy fun until a true conspiracy pro shows up. Joanie Schultz directs her own bunch of pros in this American Blues Theater production, at once amusing and chilling despite the odd moments of jumble."
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Tony Adler

Chicago On the Aisle - Recommended

"...To say the plot of "Yankee Tavern" is tissue-thin is a plausible understatement. But the play isn't exactly plot driven; it's dot-driven. It's all about the dots, sort of a conspiracy variation of Who's on First?: Every so often, as you're trying to track one of Ray's convoluted ratiocinations or draw a clear inference from bits about Professor Handjob, you find yourself thinking, "Naturally.""
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Stage and Cinema - Not Recommended

"...Even the couple that the play revolves around are not convincing. As Adam, the owner of the titular bar, Ian Paul Custer way overdoes his brief bursts of anger; they're almost farcical. Darci Nalepa as Adam's fiancee Janet plays her character fairly well, despite the lack of support from the others. Apart from a few laughs at the beginning, the only thing this production has to recommend itself is Christopher Neville's props and Grant Sabin's finely-constructed set, especially the painted floor tiles."
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Barnaby Hughes

ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...The complexity of conspiracy theories are naturally fascinating to a storyteller. Not that they’re necessarily well-told or sensible stories, but their believers and repeaters grant them an importance many artists wish their own stories could gain. In his 2009 play, Yankee Tavern, now playing at American Blues Theater, Steven Dietz explored the impact come of these conspiracies have on people, while indulging himself in sharing some of his favorites. It’s an interesting production, though the thriller nature of the story, probably by design, leaves the audience forever unsure of what exactly is transpiring."
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Jacob Davis

Chicago Stage Standard - Recommended

"...Though in many ways a frustrating experience, with Yankee Tavern, American Blues Theater has once again created an experience that invites the audience into a world that creates a dialogue with our own. Dietz's play is not perfect, balancing not always successfully between political drama and thriller, but he knows how to write characters you want to follow into his labyrinth, and there is enough humor and hope for humanity to keep the dark subject matter from becoming overwhelming, though at times that itself seemed problematic. We all create our conspiracies, the stories that allow us to make sense of the world and our times; this play reflects on how the times help shape some of those conspiracies and just how far it's possible to take them."

Kerstin Broockmann

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Debuting in 2008, this is the first production in Chicago, and who better than American Blues Theater to present it. It is their mission to engage the audience in worthwhile projects that “Illuminate the American ideas of Freedom,Equality and Opportunity in the plays and communities they serve”! This production does just that."
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Under Joanie Schultz's taut, smart direction, the action starts slowly, then crescendos into an explosive second act. The cascade of interconnected revelations, personal and political, shows not only Dietz's mastery of plotting, but also his willingness to explore the murkiest reaches of ambiguity. Equally on display here is the playwright's and theater's courage in raising these questions and issues, which are poised at the very edge of media-defined acceptability."
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Hugh Iglarsh

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...This is one of those productions that’s essentially flawless. It offers a memorable evening of humor, intrigue and thought-provoking storytelling, that binds audience members together in a special way. Joanie Schultz’s production is complete and unrelenting. As the audience gradually comes to understand these four characters, gathering more and more information from them, their views evolve and change. However, before the theatergoer can make any real judgements and formulate opinions about what he’s experienced, the mystery and tension builds to a frightening conclusion. Steven Dietz has said of his play that “a conspiracy theory is simply a Tall Tale without end,” and in this play there’s always a bigger tale waiting to be told."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Recommended

"...Steven Dietz hones in on 9/11 in “Yankee Tavern,” a play with plenty of suspense and tension during its 100-minute duration. Only after the show ends and spectators reflect on what they just saw does the realization set in that the play’s premises are shaky and the holes in the narrative large and numerous."

Dan Zeff

The Fourth Walsh - Recommended

"...I loved Dietz’s story of stories. I got sucked into all of them. Dietz masterful spins his yarn with a wedding, juke box, ghost, graduate thesis, Rolling Rock beer, dad’s coffee cup, ex-wife, backpack and a funeral suit. These 9 elements have their own stand-alone fascination but put them in a blender on level 6 for 5 minutes and drinking that 9/11 combo will blow your mind."
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Katy Walsh

  Yankee Tavern 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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