Kondrat earns kudos in Chicago production of IRT's 'Gospel'

May 20, 2011
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Back in March, the Indiana Repertory Theatre offered the world premiere of Charles Smith's "The Gospel According to James." (My review can be found here.)

This week, the show—with the cast intact—opened at Chicago's Victory Gardens Theatre.

How did it hold up to the big-city critics?

The reaction was mixed, although local favorite Diane Kondrat was singled out by both of the second city's lead critics.

Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune wrote: "Smith ... overreaches when it comes to imparting broader meanings — the last few minutes are filled with excessive talk of the weight and symbols of different stories, when the actual events that Smith recounts in gripping fashion have actually already made that point dramatically, as it should be made. We're able to make the leap without being told. Especially since Chuck Smith's intense production features some blistering acting in the inner play, especially from Diane Kondrat and Christopher Jon Martin, who play a working-class white couple whose lives collapse as hate and fear ascend and whose motivations and actions are consistently surprising." See Jones' full review here.

Hedy Weiss at the Chicago Sun-Times wasn't as captivated, saying "Smith has laid out so many different 'plausible' versions of the events leading up to this brutal incident that you begin to wish you had a team of investigators to devise a flow chart. The Rashomon effect is simply overemployed, and it becomes more exhausting than emotionally riveting." She did, however, also praise Kondrat for "an excellent portrait of an emotionally battered wife."

The show runs at Victory Gardens through June 12. Details here.

Your thoughts?

  • Big Time
    I fell for the show more than these critics did, but we can ALL agree that Ms. Kondrat was Fantastic!!!!

Post a comment to this blog

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by