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Articles tagged with: Caroline Neff

‘Linda Vista’ at Steppenwolf: Letts’ new play frames photographer who can’t get selfie right

May 21, 2017 – 5:12 pm
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Review: Wheeler, the only name he goes by, is a smart guy, a good photographer and his own worst enemy. He’s the case study in self-destruction at the center of Tracy Letts’ new play “Linda Vista,” now headed into the final week of a crackling production directed by Dexter Bullard at Steppenwolf Theatre. Wheeler – played with barbed comic timing and ruinous ferocity by Ian Barford – imagines himself astride the world, or indeed like Jupiter above it, taking the measure of all the things and people in it and finding that people mostly don’t measure up. ★★★★

‘Uncle Vanya’ at Goodman: Seeking purpose, or a numbing refill when the glass is drained

Mar 8, 2017 – 10:23 pm
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Review: Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya,” an existential snapshot of lost souls at a signless crossroads, exemplifies theater as an ensemble endeavor. In Annie Baker’s modernized, razor-sharp adaptation of the play, complemented by a directorial tour de force from Robert Falls, Goodman Theatre brings the spirit of dramatic teamwork to vibrant life. ★★★★★

‘Fundamentals’ at Steppenwolf: Downstairs at posh hotel, no Up button for the service crew

Dec 11, 2016 – 1:59 pm
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Review: The time is right for “The Fundamentals,” a sly new play by Erika Sheffer now upstairs at Steppenwolf. With mega-corps in the news for claiming ignorance of malfeasance so widespread it involves thousands of workers — while simultaneously selling the perfume of lofty company ideals — Sheffer zeroes in on the souls who draw the paychecks and suffer the joke. ★★★

‘Wastwater’ at Steep: The human condition, warts and all, with an emphasis on the warts

Aug 25, 2016 – 10:25 pm
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Review: If the mirror held to up to our human lot by Simon Stephens’ play “Wastwater” fairly reflects what’s framed there, we’re not a very pretty collection. We may have our favorable features, but for the most part the image that emerges in “Wastwater,” about to wind up its run at Steep Theatre, is one of frailty, desperation and meanness. ★★★

Role Playing: Danny McCarthy, pushing broom in ‘The Flick,’ finds vital pulse in long silences

May 5, 2016 – 9:32 am
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Interview: Danny McCarthy calls it a sweeping-dance, the closely choreographed stretches of, well, sweeping that often – and silently – occupy the two men at the center of Annie Baker’s play “The Flick,” winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, at Steppenwolf Theatre. “Actually, you try to stay mentally active while you’re out there,” says McCarthy, who plays Sam, a quiet man in his mid-thirties who works on the cleanup crew at a small movie house, clearing away the night’s detritus, and grapples with the haunting malaise in his life.

‘Airline Highway’ at Steppenwolf: Characters outshine drama in Lisa D’Amour’s new play

Jan 18, 2015 – 12:38 pm
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Review: Lisa D’Amour’s latest play, “Airline Highway,” now in its world premiere run at Steppenwolf Theatre, pulls together an intriguing mélange of characters from what might euphemistically be called a subculture of contemporary New Orleans. They are a collection of losers. But memorable. Indeed, D’Amour’s sharply drawn prostitutes, addicts and schemers leave a more vivid impression than her troubled drama. ★★★

‘4000 Miles’ at Northlight: To Grandmother’s house he goes, and she’s worth the long ride

Oct 13, 2013 – 10:45 pm
Leo (Josh Salt) and his grandma Vera (Mary Ann Thebus) get high together in '4000 Miles' at Northlight Theatre. (Michael Brosilow photo)

Review: Leo crashes Vera’s apartment in the middle of the night, a sort of grown up waif, lost to the world, clutching the bicycle he has just ridden cross-country from the Northwest to New York’s East Village. They’re a lot alike, Leo and Vera, rebels with or without cause – except that she’s his grandma. Mary Ann Thebus’ savvy, frank, altogether delightful performance provides something real and lasting to take away from Amy Herzog’s semi-developed play “4000 Miles” at Northlight Theatre. ★★

With a vision of grace in the Arizona desert, Strawdog draws life from ‘Petrified Forest’

Mar 7, 2012 – 1:58 am
Petrified Forest featured image Strawdog 2012 Caroline Neff Adam Shalzi Jamie Vann John Moran

Desperate souls in a diner. 4 stars!