We Live Here

By Scott Barsotti, Molly Each, Laura Eason,We Live Here by Theatre Seven of Chicago

Brian Golden, Kristin Idaszad, Kim Morris,

Nick Ward and Doug Whippo

Conceived and directed by Margot Borselon

and Cassy Sanders

Produced by Theater Seven of Chicago

At the Greenhouse Theater Center, Chicago

“You don’t move into Chicago, Chicago moves into you.”

Theater Seven of Chicago is committed to telling Chicago stories, especially from the 20/30somethings newly arrived in Chicago’s point of view. Theatre Seven’s latest production of  Chicago tales was written by eight folks who have a unique, youngish take on experiencing Chicago. As a senior life-long Chicagoan, I thought the selection of yarns was directed to the 20/30somethings who are mostly white, college educated, transplants to our city each adjusting to urban life. That was deftly presented in a series of eight short stories  that got the nine players to energetically present the Chicago stories.

We Live Here by Theatre Seven of Chicago

When doing a Chicago piece to a Chicago audience – accuracy is important and this story is basically factually except in a scene that finds a young teen visiting Chicago from his Itasca, IL (which is northwest of Chicago in proximity to O’Hare Airport). We see the teen with his  brother traveling south on the Howard Redline when they should be on the Blue Line from O’Hare. It is a small error but us fanatic Chicagoans get squeamish about such details.

We Live Here by Theatre Seven of Chicago

But, We Live Here’s “quintessential Chicago moments” range from poignant, to sad, to hauntingly moving, to hilariously human, to emotionally desperate. Each playwright’s semi-autobiographical story is handled exquisitely by a cast that fully humanizes the honesty of each tale. From the  growing up of the  teen into an acting student at DePaul to the agony of a grad student with a kidney stone to the adventures of a bike messenger to the patience of a waiter to the man whose female friend is only that to a group’s love/hate for that guy who cost the Cubs their chance to get to the World Series – We Live Here emerges as a stylishly stage 85 minutes of Chicago storytelling.

We Live Here by Theatre Seven of Chicago

The cast – Cyd Blakewell, Paige Collins, Behzad Dabu, Sarah Gitenstein, Desmond Gray, Jessica London-Shields, Keith Neagle, Cody Proctor and George Zerante – each had their definitive moments marking this piece as an ensemble delight!

The target audience thrives on the actions and reactions  of those brave souls who “let Chicago move into them.” Maybe in the future, Theatre Seven of Chicago will consider finding stories from life-long old-timers from a diverse racial and ethnic and economically diverse cross-section of Chicagoans since they are expert at theatrically presenting local urban tales?

Recommended

Tom Williams

Jeff Recommended

At the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, call 773-404-7336, tickets $15 – $25, Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8 pm , Sundays at 3 pm, running time is 85 minutes without intermission, thorough September 11, 2001