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  You Got Older at Steppenwolf Theatre

You Got Older

Steppenwolf Theatre
1650 N. Halsted Chicago

There's a haunted place between where we started and where we need to be that finds the most tender among us-and breaks them open. In You Got Older, Clare Barron's bawdy, irreverent and touching play, Mae, brokenhearted and unemployed, returns home to care for her ailing father and escape the loneliness of a life that just can't seem to get off the ground.

Thru - Mar 11, 2018

Stage: Downstairs Theatre

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 312-335-1650

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  You Got Older Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...there are many moving scenes, some beautifully acted conversations between Neff’s Mae and Guinan’s Dad that will touch you, and, if you have siblings, you’ll recognize the wise scenes in which Mae and her sisters, Hannah (Audrey Francis) and Jenny (Emjoy Gavino), and her brother, Matthew (David Lind), try to figure out the question that we all face in these most trying of circumstances: Why does everyone want to carry on as if nothing has happened?"
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...Solidly directed by Jonathan Berry with fine performances all around, "You Got Older" blends reality and fantasy into a sometimes uneasy look at the one-way movement of time - whether you're ready for it to or not. It's also about family, the ties that bind and how you can go home again."
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Mary Houlihan

Daily Herald - Highly Recommended

"...Director Berry conjures up great tension between stasis and propulsion throughout "You Got Older." This is visualized well in the cycle-of-the-season video projections by designer Rasean Davonte Johnson that fill out the physical scenery of backyard fences and distant forests by set designer Meghan Raham."
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Scott C. Morgan

Chicago On the Aisle - Recommended

"...The real reward of Steppenwolf Theatre's staging directed by Jonathan Berry, and the only thing that might draw me back to see it again, is the ever-luminous Francis Guinan's performance as a loving father fighting a losing battle with cancer."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Stage and Cinema - Somewhat Recommended

"...What infects this script most of all is the author’s near obsession with the breakdown of the body. Whether it’s boils, lesions, rashes, sores, cancerous growths, pus, family smells, headaches, insomnia, disfigurement or just bad wet dreams, You Got Older (the title testifies) has it in stock. Its default drive is illness: Happiness is a mere accident brought on by finding comfortable boots, ringing a gong outside a hospital, or seeing deer in the backyard. Yes, behind the despair you find care too. But the controlling colors here remain sterile white to blah beige to sad gray to just black."
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Lawrence Bommer

Splash Magazine - Somewhat Recommended

"...I found this whole production to be a frustrating experience. The play is a mess from start to finish. The script contains unnatural dialogue where everyone speaks with the same voice, the characters are utterly unlikable (aside from the Dad), and it's unjustifiably long. These matters are compounded by an extremely unbalanced production that lags under Jonathan Berry's misguided direction which makes the actors appear static on stage rather than repressed."
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Justin LeClaire

Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Somewhat Recommended

"...The conclusion is emotional, but the ending is a little bizarre and somewhat perplexing; however, there are moments where you look for baseball caps too, so no one will see you reminisce and cry."
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Rick and Brenda McCain

Around The Town Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...Steppenwolf Theatre Company is known throughout the world as a world-class company. I have watched the talented actors of this company go on to great things, and yet, still come back to their roots- Steppenwolf! Their current production, a Chicago premiere is “You Got Older” written by Clare Barron and sharply directed by Jonathan Berry. FYI- In the program it says that the show is without an intermission, but since it is over two hours long, they have changed that to a total of two hours fifteen minutes including the intermission. For my part, this could easily be a 90 minute play with no intermission, and in fact, might be even more effective."
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...It is not that Barron isn’t a talented writer, it’s that the enthusiasm and opportunity for this particular work seem out of proportion to its quality and insight. We need more depictions of the contrarian waywardness of contemporary youth, especially as it reacts to the realities of a shifting adulthood, the boundaries of which are getting pushed further and further back like a frequently depressed snooze button on a day when you cannot bring yourself to get out of bed. Yet “You Got Older” is lacking in the kind of details that would make it singular and specific rather than broad and apparent. To remain unreachable can be a form of self-protection but doing so risks never making the connections that make living worthwhile."
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Kevin Greene

Chicago Theatre Review - Recommended

"...Clare Barron’s often bizarrely comic, autobiographical drama is sobering, yet frank and funny. It’s a naturalistic view at how one family copes with all the things that life throws at us: parental relationships, sibling rivalry, illness, romance, career, future plans and even death. But in the end, Barron tells us that, in spite of everything, life does go on. Although the script feels a little too long in spots, Jonathan Berry’s skillfully guided production features some pretty fantastic performances, the real hallmark of every Steppenwolf production."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Highly Recommended

"...Jonathan Berry orchestrates what could be a rudderless, maybe pointless story into high entertainment, at least for those willing to buy into Barron’s script for the deft, moonbeam work that it is. The rehearsals for “You Got Older” must have crackled with excitement as the director and his players plumbed each off-the-wall scene to connect the outwardly disparate elements. That they made almost every moment come across as inevitable, if not logical, is a remarkable feat."
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Dan Zeff

Third Coast Review - Recommended

"...Well-written and well-acted, You Got Older is a fine example of Steppenwolf's commitment to telling stories about how we live now through high-quality, ensemble acting. With two leads willing to embrace Barron's fresh and honest play, it's hard not to be touched by a story that should speak to all audiences: We all grow up. We all get older. We all move forward."
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Brent Eickhoff

The Hawk Chicago - Recommended

"... Overall, the play’s most affecting moments stem from the two heart-wrenching instances where music says what the characters cannot, but it also loses some of its emotional resonance by leaving so many things unspoken. It’s ultimately too introspective and apathetic to have the lasting effect it might have with an extra dose of empathy."
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Emily Schmidt

Chicago On Stage - Somewhat Recommended

"...Sometimes, watching a play, I get the distinct feeling that the playwright is just trying too hard. Often, this manifests itself in stilted dialogue or in overly cheesy scenes; these are easy to notice and easy to describe. But what is wrong with Clare Barron's You Got Older is much more complicated. In a well-acted production now at the Steppenwolf Theatre, the play simply fails to engage despite having all sorts of ingredients that ought to make it engaging: father with cancer, struggling daughter trying to handle this, fantasy sequences, symbolism, etc. Unfortunately, in this case the whole is not better than the sum of its parts."
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Karen Topham

Picture This Post - Somewhat Recommended

"...YOU GOT OLDER might resonate with those who have dealt with similar situations or like a laid-back, surface level play. It might not be the best for those who are looking for a more gripping and deeper story."
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Alexis Bugajski

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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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