Theatre ReviewsTom Williams


Written and directed by Eric Simonson

Eric Simonson--author of Honest
Eric Simonson--author of Honest

As part of  Steppenwolf  Theatre’s First Look Repertory of New Work

At Steppenwolf’s  Garage Theatre

Excellent script and fine acting give Honest power

I am pleased to report that Eric Simonson’s  Honest, a part of  Steppenwolf’s First Look Repertory of New Work, is a major success. Honest is a star-making vehicle for Erik Hellman as he plays Guy/Tim to the hilt in this mystery drama. Guy is an enigmatic character and author of a major best-selling memoir about his downward spiral int drug addiction and homelessness.  Guy is charming and charismatic with a razor-sharp wit and a biting defensiveness that entices his interviewer Martin (Martin McClendon) to question whether or not his book is factual or fiction. The face-to-face confrontation begs for a flashback to see Guy’s past.


We get a glimpse of Guy’s character and his intelligence that together with his writing talent map him as a sociopath. The shocking news that Casey (Kelly O’Sullivan) brings to Guy eight years earlier shapes Guy’s world. Honest shows hints of the  James Frey incident where an author takes actual events that he didn’t do and makes them his own. Did Guy really do all the actions depicted in his book or is his story really fiction? Playwright Simonson deftly demonstrates the personality traits necessary to pull off such deception. Erik Hellman’s performance gives life to Guy or Tim. This play is ready for a full production with Hellman as Guy.

Highly Recommended

Tom williams

At Steppenwolf’s Garage Theatre, 1624 N Halsted, Chicago, IL, Call 312-335-1650, tickets $20, Thursday August 6 at 8 pm, Saturday, August 8 at 8 pm, Sunday, August 9 at 1 pm, running time is 100 minutes without intermission, through August 9, 2009

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