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September 22, 2008


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Mike from Philly

It's been a long time since I saw a 6-star production.

Ethan Stanislawski

What I don't understand is how changing the scale and the zip code all of a sudden changes the play's quality. Granted, Adam Feldman called it one of the best musicals of the past 20 years, but that was not nearly a consensus in NYC. Maybe I'm just biased because of my familiarity with both cities, but I have a hard time seeing how a play's success can be gauged by its relationship to a city's "scene." It's not like the Adding Machine wasn't well received in NYC.

Kris Vire

Ethan, are you referencing the Trib and Sun-Times reviews? I didn't see the New York production, so I can't make the comparison.

Ethan Stanislawski

I'm more referring to how the play got the mixed-to-mediocre reviews the play got in NYC, and wondering why the play's reception has turned around so dramatically in Chicago (likewise, I haven't seen the Court production).

Ethan Stanislawski

apologies for the grammar.


It's possibly because this is a completely different production with completely different actors, staging, and designs, which (and obviously YMMV) may or may not communicate the play in a more compelling way than the original production's choices did in NYC. So, um, it's getting better reviews because people think it's a better production.

Or, to be more charitable to the original (which I also did not see) maybe the play has finally found its moment in late 2008, as some recent reviews have suggested and audiences now are simply closer to its themes.

Would you expect two different productions of, say, THE HOMECOMING in two different cities, four years apart to get the same reviews??

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  • Kris Vire
    I write about theater for Time Out Chicago. I write more about it here.

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