Venue Details

136 Star Starred
Victory Gardens Zacek McVay Theater
Formerly the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater 2433 North Lincoln Avenue Chicago, IL 60614
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4.0 / 5 Rated by 8 members
Review from Carolyn
12 events 2 reviews

I attended on a Friday evening and the theatre was only one third full, which is a shame for the cast and crew as this is definitely a play worth watching. The cast was excellent, on the whole, the acting engaging and the play thought-provoking...continued

reviewed Jul 23 2010 report as inappropriate
Review from Jim Heneghan
Red Velvet 43 events 20 reviews

Painfully poignant and wonderfully casted...this is a bitterwseet drama of familial tensions and the pain and uncomfortableness of encountering love.....each person seems to be seeking "a place to call home..." and in the end of their quest, they...continued

reviewed Aug 04 2010 report as inappropriate
Review from Kevin Palmer
3 events 3 reviews

I found the acting incredible, the sets extraordinary and the plot rather believable. There were some exchanges between some of the actors that I found a bit odd, or thinking "someone would not have said that..." I think it is a play worth seeing;...continued

reviewed Jul 24 2010 report as inappropriate
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More Information


Victory Gardens closes its 2009/10 Season with the world premiere of ensemble playwright Joel Drake Johnson’s A Guide for the Perplexed,* *marking the Chicago return of award-winning Broadway actor Kevin Anderson.  Anderson is perhaps most fondly remembered for his performances at Steppenwolf __(Orphans), __and on television __(Nothing Sacred) __and film (Sleeping with the Enemy).  In A Guide for the Perplexed, Anderson stars opposite fellow Steppenwolf ensemble member Francis Guinan.

Anderson plays Doug, a newly released criminal, forced to take reluctant residence with his sister’s husband, their teenage son and a tank of tropical fish. The rehabilitation process, both absurdly funny and heartbreakingly sad, is by no means limited to the ex-con.  When Doug’s female pen pal arrives in hot pursuit bearing strange gifts, the play cuts deep into the characters’ mutual feelings of pain, guilt and fear. Hints of a tenuous recovery make Johnson’s newest play both hopeful and very real.

“I wrote A Guide for the Perplexed as a way to explore the journey to redemption. How does guilt push you forward on that journey? And how difficult is it to change one’s behavior knowing that the success of that change is a key to your survival? All five characters are at a crisis juncture, a juncture that is both incredibly personal and wholly dependent on the people in their lives,” says playwright Joel Drake Johnson.**


  • **“Joel has the ability to mine great humor from what often appear to be serious (or dire) situations. He is a master at juxtaposing laugher and tears. His plays always provide laser sharp insight into human behavior, and that makes the exploration of his characters fascinating,” says Sandy Shinner who has directed five other world premieres by Johnson.  

Cavalia: <em>Odysseo</em> KIDZ BOP St. Patrick's Day Party at Clark Street Ale House Bernadette Peters & the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra Historic Theatre Tour <em>Love's Labor's Lost</em>