REVIEWSREVIEWS BYTheatre ReviewsTom Williams

Danny and the Deep Blue Sea


By John Patrick Shanleykokandy productions

Director: K. Hannah Friedman

Produced by Kokandy Productions

At the Athenaeum Theatre, Chicago

Wrenching, gritty story of alienation and love by tow desperate people

John Patrick Shanley presents a gritty portrait of two losers who are completely alienated from society. Roberta (Jodi Kingsley) is the plus-sized thirty-one year old is  haunted by the memory of an ugly sexual incident involving her father, is distrustful of men in general yet she craves intimacy. Danny (Brandon Galatz) is a brooding, self-loathing man who resorts more to violence than reason; she is a divorced, guilt-ridden young woman whose troubled teenage son is now being cared for by her parents. Danny, whose fellow truck drivers call him “the animal,” seems incapable of tender emotion. The two, both drinking alone in a dive bar on the Bronx, eye each other as their mutual need for intimacy pushes them toward each other.

kokandy productions

As the evening goes on, Roberta is aggressively pushing Danny toward taking her home. After heated rants by Danny, he eventually acknowledges the spark between the two by agreeing to go home with Roberta. After the two have sex, Danny is smitten and he begins to see how  he could have a lasting relationship for the first time in his life.  Forgiveness and dreams of a new life motivate the two but reality tempers Roberta’s vision.

kokandy productions

This is a wrenching love story with visceral romantic elements. Galatz is memorizing as he exudes all the rage and pent-up anxiety of the totally alienated and violent truck driver. Kingsley is equally effective as the guilt-ridden woman with low  self-esteem. This 80 minute drama is engaging and wonderfully acted.  While the play presents the bleakness of  alienation it also presents the hope that people can change if they only take the changes to embrace change when it presents itself.  This show is worthy of an audience.


Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: April 13, 2013

For more inf checkout the Danny and the Deep Blue Sea page at

At the Atheneum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, Chicago,IL, tickets $28, call 773-935-6875, tickets $28, Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 2 pm, running time is 80 minutes without intermission, through April 28, 2013

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