REVIEWSTheatre ReviewsTom Williams

Her America

By Brett Neveu.

Directed by Linda Gillum.

Produced by Solo Celebration Series.

At the Greenhouse Theatre, Chicago.

Hauntingly powerful story played with deep emotional drama.

As part of their Solo Celebration Series, the creatives at the Greenhouse Theatre mounts Her America by Brett Nevue and played with wrenching emotional impact by the great Kate Buddeke. This is a haunting 70 minute one-act that finds Lori (in a tour de force performance by Kate Buddeke) retreating to the basement after her world has span out of control as even her dogs harass her. Her trash-filled basement (scenic design by Grant Sabin) is filled with the remnants of her tough life. Each artifact from key events become fuelfor her memories. Lori seeks a place of her own where she can cope with all her pain and her unfulfilled dreams.

Indeed, we see that her world upstairs has span out of control leaving her at a dead end. With gut-wrenching monologues, Buddeke’s honesty comes through as truthful confrontation as to how her life went astray. From the items in the basement including a high school yearbook to red-white & blue beer cans to her wedding dress form her marriage to the over-religious Dan,  Her America is a deeply American mystery about how one person’s American dream became a nightmare.  As Lori’s artifacts trigger memories, she laments and questions how and why religion, her relationship with Dan and a stranger from her pass who reappears all took their toll on her life.

Fueled by playwright Brett Neveu’s brilliant writing and Kate Buddeke’s riveting performance, this solo show tells a horrible story about an unremarkable woman forced to deal with the powerful forces that have shaped her destiny. Her secret from the time she placed something in the steamer trunk she finds in the basement. This heart-braking story speaks to the events that changed her identify and controlled her choices.

Her America is unlike any one person show in that it is intimately person with unexpected twists. Kate Buddeke’s performance will rivet you to the edge of your seat as she blends humor with pathos as she seeks a place to comfort herself  from her pain and angst. This show is a special event that will move your. The wonder of terrific writing and heart-felt honest acting becomes powerful art.


Tom Williams.

Date Reviewed: January 11, 2017.

Jeff Recommended.

For more info check the Her America page at

At the Greenhouse Theatre, 2257 N. Lincoln, Chicago, IL, call 773-404-7336,, tickets $34 – $48, Wed. Thur & Fri at 8pm, Saturdays at2:30 & 8pm, Sundays at 2:30pm, running time is 70 minutes without an intermission, through February 12, 2017.