Saturday August 19th 2017

“A Little Bit NOT Normal”

Highly Recommended **** This has been a great year for solo performances. The Greenhouse had a wonderful “Solo” series and now the Victory Gardens , “Up Close & Personal Series” is ready for Chicago audiences. Last week I reviewed  “Where Did We Sit On The Bus”, an amazing one man show, written and performed by Brian Quijada (from Highwood).  Today, the solo performance by Arlene Malinowski “A Little Bit NOT Normal”, her own story , dealing with depression, written and performed by her, and smoothly directed by Lisa Portes .

This 90 minute show deals with her confronting and meeting depression “head-on” when she learns some family history on a trip back home to New Jersey for her sister’s wedding. We learn along the way that Arlene’s parents and sister were deaf and that growing up, it was part of her daily routine t be their interpreter. Learning one’s history can be upsetting when it changes what one thought was where they came from. Happily married to Dan, who constantly proves his love to her, when she faces depression and realizes that depression wants to take over for Dan in her life, she is forced to face the facts and depression head on, seeking assistance from meds and docs and learning to make the adjustments to them, while learning more about how powerful her love  affair with her husband, truly is.

This is a comedy, with serious overtones and undertones dealing with depression; what it is, how it works, and of greatest importance how to deal and cope with it, and in the long run, beat it! Her delivery is amazing in that she also does sign language and brings in her comedic background. This allows the audience to laugh at times and take away some of the stress that can be brought on by dealing with depression, even if not our own. It does not take long for the audience to see where she is headed and to get on the bandwagon to follow her journey to “beat the devil” so to speak. Every one of the three shows that are part of this series will help us to understand and see the similarity of these artists’ lives and the struggles they have had to face as well as how they triumphed in the long haul.

“A Little Bit NOT Normal” will continue in the Richard Christiansen Theater (upstairs) at Victory Gardens Theater located at  2433 N. Lincoln Avenue thru June 4th (the series) with performances as follows:

May 20th, 21st  7:30 p.m.

May 27th  3 p.m.

Tickets are $20 ( buy all three shows at $40) and are available at the box office, by calling 773-871-300 or online at

To see what others are saying, visit, go to Review Round-Up and click at “”A Little Bit Not Normal”


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