Saturday February 24th 2018

“Rose”

Last year, when The Greenhouse Theater Center was presenting its hit “SOLO” series, I missed one of the highly regarded shows. Thank the Lord,they have brought it back ! Yes, now all of you who heard about the one-woman show, “Rose” written by Laurence Leamer, that won the Jeff Award for best Solo performance in 2017 is back at The Greenhouse Theater, through March 11th.

Directed by Steve Scott and starring the remarkable Linda Reiter as Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, this is 90 minutes of pure artistry. Presented in the larger venue downstairs, they have still made the piece intimate enough so that we can watch every reaction as Rose reviews her life and the children she and her husband had. The time is right after the Teddy incident and she is awaiting his return to their Hyannisport home. The Kennedy family changed the outlook on politics during their period of history. Many young people, who only know bits and pieces, may find this look at the “Royal Family” of American politics more of a soap opera than history. In fact, the Kennedy family of the 1960’s could easily be compared to one of  today’s TV reality show family’s.

J.F.K. was the hope of the future. I speak from my own experience as I recall the 1960’s as the “Camelot Period” and America’s dreams were about to come true. As we all know, while this was a family that was blessed with wealth and success, it was also a family that faced tragedy and heartache. This woman, Rose Kennedy, kept the puzzle pieces from falling off the table. Her husband, Joe, wanted to have one of his son’s be the leader of the nation, and when John was killed, the family prepared the next in line. Rose stood behind her husband, despite all of his philandering, and no matter what, her family was her life.

If you are familiar with the Kennedy history, you will learn some new things and get a special insight into the woman who kept them together. If you only know a little, you will find the presentation of “Rose” a wonderful learning experience, but at the same time, watching Leamer bring this woman to the stage is an experience all unto itself. Anyone who is considering a career in acting, should also see her work. It will be like attending an acting class with the greatest of teachers! This I guarantee!

We get to see some actual photos from the Kennedy family, some in her hands and on the tables, but many projected on a large screen behind her. FYI- we are in her home and there is a visitor who is going to write her book for her. We become that writer as she tells us the stories about each of her children and their ups and downs. This is a behind the scenes look at a woman who was indeed the Matriarch of America’s “Royal Family” with a set (Kevin Hagan) that will truly make you feel that you have entered a different era, solid lighting (Cat Wilson), sound (Christopher Kriz, who may have done the incidental music) and costumes (Rachel Lambert).

This is one that you should put on your “MUST SEE” list. “Rose” will continue at The Greenhouse Theater Center located at 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue through March 11th with performances as follows:

Thursdays   7:30 p.m.

Fridays  7:30 p.m.

Saturdays  7:30 p.m.

Sundays  2:30 p.m.

Matinee performances at  2:30 will be added  on 1/27,  1/31, 2/10, 2/14, 2/24, 2/28 and 3/10

Tickets range from $35-$45 (students $15) and can be purchased at the box office, by calling 773-404-7336 or online at www.greenhousetheater.org

To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-Up and click at “Rose”!

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