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Kate and Sam Are Not Breaking Up

By Joel Kim Boosternew colony theatre

Directed by Sarah Gitenstein

Produced by New Colony Theatre

At the Flat Iron Building, Chicago

Wild dark comedy features intense acting and nicely structured plot line

New Colony Theatre have mounted several unique theatre pieces over the last couple of years. They are committed to having  a true collaborative experience for all creatives  from the playwright to the actors, everyone helps develop the piece. The results become  polished works that are engaging and stage worthy. Their latest work is a dark comedy that is an intense look at the cult of celebrity and how it effects both the stars who are adorned and the groupies who adorn them. new colony theatre

The world premiere of Kate ans Sam Are Not Breaking Up by Joel Kim Booster is a hoot!  It combines dark humor with an absurd depiction of the weird world of dysfunctional losers whose obsession with the film stars of a book-to-film series (Ghost Forest) that compels them to kidnap the stars in order for Kate and Sam to reconcile their relationship.

new colony theatre Utilizing the trash-filled dirty set (designed by John Wilson), we meet Bill (Rob Grabowski), a nerdy 30something bachelor who has drugged and duck-tapped  Kate ( Mary Williamson) and Sam (Nick Delehanty), the  film stars. He is reluctant to explain why he has kidnapped the two until his fellow film groupie Becky (Stephanie Shum) arrives. Becky’s arrival was a manic depiction of the joy she felt upon meeting her two film heroes. We see the extreme obsession both Bill and Becky feel toward Kate and Sam as the real life  characters from the Ghost Forest saga.

new colony theatre Playwright Booster  has presented a darkly funny yet poignantly violent look a celebrity obsession.  We empathize with Bill’s lonely preoccupation with film personae and we are amazed by intensity of the teenage Becky’s neuritic attempt at making Kate and Sam into becoming what her fantasies  demand. How Becky and Bill try to get the stars to reconcile unfolds at first as a humorous psychotherapy exercise that quickly evolves  into a violent series of events. I’ll not say more so as not to spoil the action.

Let me say that theses fully developed characters are expertly performed by the game cast.  Rob Grabowski deftly depicts the idealistic loser while Stephanie Shum is superb as the hyper psycho. Nick Delehanty presents Sam as a shallow yet loving soul. Mary Williamson is the tough, smart and honest film star determined to resist her captives. These four players were terrific in this engrossing world premiere. Those who enjoy dark violent comedies will  savor Kate and Sam Are Not Breaking Up – I know I did.


Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: November 9, 2013

Jeff Recommended

For more info checkout the Kate and Sam are Not Breaking Up page at At the Flat Iron Building, Suite 300, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL,, tickets $20, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 pm, running time is 90 minutes with intermission, through December 14, 2013

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