Goodman Theatre 

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Reviews / Comments (65)

Showing 1-25 of 65

Re: “Camino Real

You know what you all did by walking out? Made the play succeed. You were moved to a point that literally made you leave the theatre. It shifted something in you. You had a visceral response to something onstage that made you uncomfortable. Yes. This is entirely different than anything the Goodman has ever done and I have to applaud them for that. There are moments of violence and hyper sexual content, but also moments of beauty and poetry. It takes place in a surreal dream world and anything can happen. You all say that the Goodman didn't warn you, and the descriptions of the play and the things that you"read" about the play failed to give you an accurate heads up. If you had actually done any kind of reading or research about this production, the play, or the esteemed director Calixto Bieito, you would have read about his provocative and controversial work all over the world. You would have read the descriptions of famous operas that he has remastered and provoked millions of people to talk about. You would have read about Robert Falls seeing one of those productions and being absolutely shocked and intrigued by what he saw on that stage. It moved him. Or how about the New York Times article you could have read last week that did a great job describing just how different, dark, and exciting this play is and how Calixto is one of the top 50 most influential directors in the world. Yes.. you could have read all of those things right in your very home on the computer or picked up the pamphlets that the Goodman mailed out to all of you "former subscribers" that very clearly warned you about what you were going to see. Some times theatre like this is essential in keeping theatre and the arts alive. Putting yourself out there and trying something new. Spearheading fear and braving failure. It pushed you out of your comfort zone and you flipped. It's up to you to to figure out why that is. The Goodman and their artistic staff grew a pair and did their job... now do yours.

report 18 likes, 10 dislikes   
Posted by Non Hater on 03/06/2012 at 7:50 PM

Re: “Camino Real

I am, like so many others, terribly excited to see this "Highly Contoversial," work from the front row next week. I sincerely applaud Goodman/Falls for tearing the lid off of a stagnant, prudish sect of "Delicate, Artsy Minds." When contoversy and danger leave the stage, all that remains is singing animals and dancing nuns..........No Thank you, I prefer my art with teeth and sharp mind! Grow a set you ninny-bobs, to be challenged in mind is a great and necessary deed. Without intellectual challenge, one never really knows who they are, or what they hold.........Ultimately, thank you Mr. Bieito, your vision and edge defines your work!

report 13 likes, 5 dislikes   
Posted by katzpaganstar on 03/06/2012 at 10:47 PM

Re: “Camino Real

Also as a reply to the "former goodman subscriber" I will be calling that number and telling Bob Falls "THANK YOU" for bringing a different style of theatre to a company that sometimes falls for "too much of the same". It goes both ways, and I hope the audience members who enjoy this show are just as vocal as those who hated it.

report 16 likes, 10 dislikes   
Posted by TheatreNutJohn on 03/06/2012 at 12:32 PM

Re: “Camino Real

I totally agree with the previous message. We walked out half way through as did many others at our performance. What were they thinking to stage this?

report 15 likes, 11 dislikes   
Posted by Judy Miller on 03/05/2012 at 6:50 AM

Re: “Camino Real

I almost didn't attend this show after reading these reviews because I am so sensitive to gratuitous violence, but my husband talked me into giving it a try & I was glad I did-- this was the most thought-provoking live performance I think I've ever seen. The sex and violence are extreme (although mostly not by R rated movie standards, in my opinion--theatre is much less realistic by its nature, so many of the acts that would have been depicted in a graphic way on the big screen were mostly symbolic here), and I admit I was relieved when the play ended because it was so intense, but the experience was thrilling. I was literally on the edge of my seat, enthralled, terrified, fascinated, laughing and crying and later, up in the night pondering the show's symbolism and the depth of its message. Technically, the production was amazing, perfectly acted and employing lights, effects, breathtakingly beautiful music, a multi-layered set, even powerful (good) smells emerging from back stage and drifting over the audience. There was little division between the stage and the house. I haven't ever experienced a production like this.

This show is violent & sexual but not titillating; the scenes depicted are brutal because life is brutal. I totally disagree with those, above, who indicated that there was no redemptive quality or coherent message underlying the play. Unlike a lot of other "avant garde" art I have encountered, this show seems to me to have something many-layered and powerful to say. I'd like to see it again so I can continue to unpack it.

If you love an intellectual and emotional challenge and find some discomfort worth it, this show is definitely for you.

If not, I'd probably skip it.

report 8 likes, 2 dislikes   
Posted by cosborn on 03/10/2012 at 2:36 PM

Re: “Camino Real

Camino Real is a Tennessee Williams play not, as the article misstates, "the Tennessee Williams story…"

report 7 likes, 1 dislike   
Posted by lord byron on 03/06/2012 at 12:49 AM

Re: “Camino Real

Really, really bad. Starts out with an alcoholic throwing up on stage three times, and goes downhill from there. Walked out after the strangalization and sodomy of an elderly black man by a white cop. We will be cancelling our subscription to the Goodman next year.

report 17 likes, 14 dislikes   
Posted by Daniel Kraus on 03/05/2012 at 9:44 AM

Re: “Camino Real

Terrible. Absolutely terrible. In ten years of attending the Goodman, I have never been subjected to such a horrific experience. The play is packed with glorified violence, sex, and drugs, for seemingly no point or message. I would strongly discourage anyone from seeing this play.

report 17 likes, 14 dislikes   
Posted by Emily Bialas on 03/04/2012 at 10:59 PM

Re: “Camino Real

Wow - much ado about nothing. While reading these responses I feared I would be seeing an X rated hyper violent / sexually radical production. NO NO NO! Surely this show will not be for everyone, but I found it TOP KNOTCH! It was beautiful, heartbreaking, and devestating (but in the grandest of ways). I am pretty proud that the Goodman theatre (known for their rather tame and mainstream fare) has branched out to offer theatre goers a different experience. It may not be liked by all - but at least there are brave artists and brave theatre out there who are willing to challenge an audience.

Go into this show unphased - and you may just find yourself enjoying the production. I plan to go again

report 15 likes, 12 dislikes   
Posted by TheatreNutJohn on 03/06/2012 at 11:49 AM

Re: “Camino Real

Yeah, the problem is not that the production is graphic--the problem is that it's not well executed. Williams's play is a bit shapeless and impressionistic, and this production pushes way past that into almost incoherence. I'm all for challenging work, but there's a world of difference between rigorous, thoughtful, difficult work and the childish mess here.

report 6 likes, 1 dislike   
Posted by Melvin on 03/08/2012 at 8:31 PM

Re: “Camino Real

To TheaterNutJohn, glad to hear you liked the show; the issue is that Goodman failed to properly warn people of the ultra-violent nature of the production. That is why 50 people per night are walking out. Not everyone cares for NC-17/ X rated films, so movie theaters warn you up front. Since this show is still in previews, there are no formal reviews, and Goodman really blindsided their subscribers. Goodman is also rude to the cast, since with proper warning, Goodman could have minimized the distracting walkouts.

report 9 likes, 6 dislikes   
Posted by FormerGoodman subscriber on 03/06/2012 at 6:00 PM

Re: “Camino Real

Question, as a subscriber you get the magazine the Goodman produces. I wonder if any of you actually read the Camino Real one? It goes into detail about the director and the type of work he does. I don't know why you all think a theatre must tell its patrons everything about a show before it begins? Doesn't that ruin the show? Just wondering.

report 6 likes, 2 dislikes   
Posted by TheatreNutJohn on 03/07/2012 at 10:10 AM

Re: “Camino Real

This production deserves an X-rating. I endured 25 minutes before walking out. Apparently it ends with a partial dissection of one of the actors onstage. 50 people walked out on Saturday March 3rd. The Goodman failed to warn people of the ultra-violent nature of this production. Had they done so, I would have skipped it. We have canceled our subscription. If you have comments, call Robert Falls' office at 312-443-3811 x576. He is the artistic director and needs to hear from people.

report 17 likes, 15 dislikes   
Posted by Former Goodman subscriber on 03/05/2012 at 5:18 PM

Re: “Camino Real

I'm a very seasoned theatre patron and I agree with the detractors. This production is not some 'too cool for the room' work of genius. It is simply a BAD PRODUCTION which seeks shock value for its own sake. I'd recommend people avoid this nonsense.

report 8 likes, 6 dislikes   
Posted by kiki on 03/07/2012 at 8:44 AM

Re: “Camino Real

Dear KatzPaganStar, I hope that you enjoy the show, which you probably will appreciate as you seem very familiar with the Spanish director. Since you have read these postings, at least you know what to expect. You are luckier than the preview subscribers whom the Goodman chose not to warn about the extreme, bloody, graphic violence of this production.

If you want to avoid a production with dancing nuns, you can do so easily. By contrast, loyal Goodman subscribers were not warned that Goodman would depict a partial dissection of a live character onstage.

Therefore, please do not insult us. We have been loyal supporters of the Goodman, a not-for-profit organization, for many years. Despite its deep roots in Chicago, the Goodman has refused to respond to any of the comments directed towards them via letter, in person or by phone. At least you, in trying to defend the Goodman, are willing to participate in this forum. That is more than can be said for Robert Falls or his representatives.

report 8 likes, 6 dislikes   
Posted by Chicago theater fan on 03/06/2012 at 11:12 PM

Re: “Camino Real

I liked it! I went with an ex-girlfriend, who forever ungainfully unemployed, "date$" numerous "friend$" and it felt like it tore into her very psyche. I would say it drove her to drink and drugs, but she's addicted to both anyways. Anyways, as a hard working man with a hard earned pension funded retirement planned, and a budding guitarist myself, I warmly felt the connection of self to the message. Life! Living! Love! Intense! But, shouldn't life be that way? It sure wasn't "summertime, when the livin' (was) easy. Life can so readily be a living hell for so many so quickly. It reminded me, hell it taught me, of how lucky I am.

report 4 likes, 1 dislike   
Posted by A lot Happier Now Than I Was Before This on 03/07/2012 at 8:37 PM

Re: “Camino Real

I go to the theater often, and have what I believe relatively versatile tastes, and I found this play to be one of the worst that I have ever seen. I don't mind watching something shocking when there is a need for it in the play, but here the only need was to disturb and shock. I sat through the whole thing and have regretted that decision. Through out the play I was both bored and disturbed. The idea behind the play is banal and overdone, and I couldn't tell if the hysteria that prevailed on stage was good or bad acting since I don't really know what the actors were going for. I have no problem saying that what I got out of yhis play was nothing more than a waste of 105 minutes and a birthday present story that will last me a lifetime. If you want to see something that makes you think as well as disturb you, try to catch a production of "Killer Joe" or "Aunt Dan and Lemon" and leave this to the pseudo intellectual bull**** artists

report 5 likes, 3 dislikes   
Posted by Kathy Shoykhet on 03/09/2012 at 9:49 AM

Re: “Camino Real

I could not wait for this play to end. It was an hour and 50 minutes of absolute discomfort, disgust, and shock which kept getting worse. Yes, I read the magazine from the Goodman but I never expected depravity to this extent. In addition to the already described disgusting, disturbing activities, I was extremely uncomfortable being subjected to a male character repeatedly fondling himself right in front of me (I was in the second row). I have never seen a cast look so uneasy at the end of a performance. The audience reaction (March 4) was tepid at best. I clapped out of courtesy to the actors who did their job- but I am certainly disappointed with the Goodman's choice of this play- no wonder it is seldom performed. I am considering cancelling my subscription.

report 5 likes, 3 dislikes   
Posted by A Patron on 03/08/2012 at 12:28 PM

Re: “Camino Real

What really bothered me about this production is that it wasn't really that good. It was like a bad horror film. Your compelled to watch even if the direction, acting and special effects aren't that good. I wish someone could tell me what the play was about. In spite of all the gratuitous fake blood and gore and simulated sadistic sex scenes I was actually bored with the proceedings. The actors shouted all of their lines without any emotion and the musical numbers did not seem to fit in with action of the play. And why they were even there I couldn't tell you. I didn't see any beauty or poetry. I just didn't get the point and for that I blame the director. He was so busy trying to shock us staid mid-westerners that he forgot the point he was trying to get across.

report 4 likes, 2 dislikes   
Posted by Andrea Matlak on 03/09/2012 at 5:19 PM

Re: “The Convert

Painfully accurate and relevant, engrossing story and perhaps the greatest ensemble performance in many years. 5 stars at least.

report 2 likes, 1 dislike   
Posted by paleopip on 03/01/2012 at 12:44 AM

Re: “Measure for Measure

★★★★★ ★★★★★

Amazing show contemporary environment some disco music too!

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Posted by Mark Motyka on 03/18/2013 at 11:45 AM

Re: “Fish Men

★★★★★ ★★★★★

I thought the play was excellent, but had too many endings. The play should have ended after the blackout.

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Posted by rocky the labradog on 05/07/2012 at 9:30 PM

Re: “The Seagull

★★★★★ ★★★★★

terrible production and awful rendition of Chekhov's text. juxtaposing a completely barren stage (are we suppose to reduce Chekhov's simplicity to the absurd?), an uneven and clearly inconsistent combination of russian peasant shirts with XXIst century clothes and accoutrements, an absolutely ridiculous twist of Russian tragism, including a blunt insult in act iii (with the dialogue between Arkadina and Trigorin which transforms into a circus that plays to the delight of a mis-decoding audience) or another "liberty" taken in act iv (when Masha drops a "fuck off" to her husband)... all are meant to led us to believe we are watching a NEW Chekhov. regretfully, this is just a very poor take (if not in complete bad taste) on it.

report 0 likes, 1 dislike   
Posted by WEF on 11/21/2010 at 9:02 PM

Re: “A True History of the Johnstown Flood

The one star is for the set design. The rest is a mess. And not a hot mess. What the heck was Ms. Gilman thinking? The plays within the play took up most of the time. I had NO idea what they had to do with the Johnstown Flood. Take out all the Baxter Family shows and their dealing with the Walter Lippincott character and you are left with maybe 45 minutes of the flood and it's aftermath. And the running time is 2 hours 20 minutes with an intermission. That lets you know how much of this is related to the actual Johnstown Flood. VERY little. Oh and 5 minutes of research can tell you there are inaccurate FACTS about Johnstown and the dam. NOT RECOMMENDED!

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Posted by Theatrescott on 03/28/2010 at 11:46 AM

Re: “Camino Real

Dear TheaterNutJohn, The subscriber materials did not prepare anyone for partial onstage dissection or waves of spurting blood. Remember, 50 subscribers walked out on March 3rd. Robert Falls decided to manufacture a "controversy" by failing to provide adequate warnings of the content. He warned people at the theater door only about strobe lights, brief nudity and a gunshot. Not a word about extremely graphic violence including human dissection. If you work for the Goodman, you should disclose this fact. By providing selective and incomplete warnings, Goodman has cynically invented a controversy in order to gain publicity about this production. Shame on them.

report 3 likes, 4 dislikes   
Posted by Chicago theater fan on 03/07/2012 at 1:12 PM
Showing 1-25 of 65

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