Theatre ReviewsTom Williams

Thieves Like Us

By Damon Kielythieves like us the house theatre of chicago

Directed by Kimberly Senior

Based on the novel by Edward Anderson

Produced by The House Theatre of Chicago

At Chopin Theatre

Worthy spook of the 1930’s gangster films has its moments

The House Theatre of Chicago has infused their new show with some outside talent – namely Damon Kiely as the adapter of Edward Anderson’s novel and Kimberly Senior as director. The results is a less-gimmicky House show.

thieves like us the house theatre of chicago

Thieves Like Us is a comic book spoof of the Dust Bowl bank-robbing gangs in the spirit of Bonnie and Clyde.  Bowie Bowers (John Byrnes) busts out of Alky prison and goes on a spree of bank robberies with hardened criminals T-Dub (Tom Hickey) and Chicamaw (Shawn Pfautsch). His new found gal Keechie (Paige Hoffman) wants him to give up the life and settle down. But Bowie figures he’s no more a thief than the politicians and bankers who steal with their brains instead of a gun. When the law busts up the gang Bowie is forced to make a decision: does he lam it for Mexico with Keechie or does he break Chicamaw out of jail to be their guide? See the show to find out what he does.

Filled with gun-tooting, bank robberies and heaving drinking, Thieves Like Us is an entertaining show that grabs us and keeps us involved throughout. The pace is brisk and the action is wild. Beth Sagal’s, as the all-in-white-dress angel of death,  sings torch songs to comment and underscore the action. The extensive use of newspapers including a giant paper that the actors keep unfolding vividly depict the sensationalize coverage of bank robbers.

This is a gritty and violent show filled with terrific performances – Shawn Pfautsch, Tom Hickey and John Bryne were terrific while Paige Hoffman and Tim Curtis added fine work. This is a fast paced comic book look into the low life 30’s gangsters.  There is enough humor and surprises to make this a House Show. Keep an eye on the bed as the show ends.


Tom Williams

Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 7 p.m. THIEVES LIKE US plays at the Chopin Theatre Upstairs Theatre (1543 W. Division St., Chicago). Tickets are $25 – $29 with $15 , running time is 2 hours with intermission, Tickets may be purchased by calling (773) 769-3832

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