The Hypocrites - April 2015
Performed at The Den Theater Mainstage
By Anton Chekhov, Adapted by Geoff Button
"Four Stars. Geoff Button's deeply funny new modern-language adaptation of Three Sisters puts the petty comedy of Chekhov's "comedy" front-and-center in its first half, paradoxically making its characters' glum endpoints all the more tragic... Williamson, Williams, Ewing and Gavel are precisely in tune as the endearing, frustrating, charming, self-sabotaging and all too human Prozorov sibs. Will they ever get to Moscow? Will any of us?"
Kris Vire, TimeOut Chicago
"Cunning and muscular... Button's production does something that I've not seen. He and his cast actually make the case that the Prozorovs' need to be seen as genteel carries the seeds of their own destruction... The supporting characters come across with clear-eyed sympathy and poignancy... Button's smart and sweetly melancholic take on Chekhov suggests that those who don't tend their own delicate flower beds shouldn't be surprised when the green weeds take over."
Kerry Reid, Chicago Tribune
"Button clearly appreciates their situation and therefore finds ways to usher them into the playful Hypocrites aesthetic without subverting, betraying, or reducing them to caricature. The dialogue is colloquial but respectful; the acting comic but never outlandish. A few repeated actions say a lot. And there's a color-coded design scheme that very blatantly tells you all you need to know about the flow of power in the Prozorov household, yet somehow doesn't disrupt the sense of naturalism."
Tony Adler, The Chicago Reader
"What gives the production its freshness is the use of Button's contemporary, idiomatic translation... Director Geoff Button nimbly stages Chekhov’s complex drama (comic, tragic, tragicomic?) in the round providing for a more satisfactory experience all around... The Hypocrites’ excellent ensemble cast makes this Chekhov production a delightful and entertaining drama."
Barnaby Hughes, Stage and Cinema
"The Hypocrites Three Sisters will break your heart and make you laugh... The play is heartbreakingly sad and yet occasionally funny, with intimations of changes to come in Russia... Director Geoff Button adapted Chekhov's script to use more modern language without trivializing it or breaking the mood of the story. Both his adaptation and direction are very strong."
Nancy Bishop, Gapers Block
"...under the penetrating, indeed searing direction of Geoff Button, who also adapted the play... Four stars."
Lawrence B. Johnson, Chicago On the Aisle
"At once this new adaptation by Geoff Button (who also directs) is contemporary and charming... While the dialogue of this play is pretty morbid, forcing its audience to confront the delusions we tells ourselves in order to keep living, somehow the cast makes it a lot of fun... The Hypocrites' "Three Sisters" is the perfect production for those who fear the classics... The translation is accessible and the emotions are real. The aesthetic is unique and fresh, without having to modernize it."
John Accrocco, Buzz News
"Given the atmospheric nature of “Three Sisters,” the challenge is in staging. Director Geoff Button is undeniably talented in this regard. While the period and tableau may require rigidity, his actors remain fluid and graceful. They work harmoniously toward the play’s delightful anticlimax and dour conception of life constantly on the cusp of truly beginning."
Kevin Greene, New City Stage
"This production, with its modern touches, is both adapted and directed with dignity and spirit by Geoff Button... It presents Chekhov’s comedy with a natural rhythm, never forcing the laughs or situations."
Colin Douglas, Chicago Theatre Review
"I had a lot of fun at this show. It was very funny because of the characters, but then it was also very sad because the funny people had so many hard and sad things happen to them... They want to go to Moscow because they want to go back to where they lived with their mother and had a nice house... But they don't get to because sometimes things that you want don't actually happen because of life... People who would like this show are people who like funny songs about more unfortunate people, Moscow, and intimate conversations with vodka. I think that people should definitely definitely go see this show. I thought it was a great adaptation because it got all the fun moments and all the important moments in without making it super long. I had a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it!"
Ada Grey, Age 10, Ada Grey Reviews For You
- Adapted and Directed by Geoff Button
- Scenic Design by William Boles
- Lighting Design by William Kirkham
- Costume Design by Jeremy Floyd
- Props Design by Danielle Case
- Sound Design by Stephen Gawrit
- Production Managed by Brianna Parry
- Stage Managed by J.C. Widman