On the eve of Christmas Eve, texts and emails started flying among TimeLine’s staff, Company and Board members, as news broke that Terry Teachout had named TimeLine his “Company of the Year” in The Wall Street Journal. Wow! Amidst the congratulations and messages of thanks to all who were a part of our work during 2010, we were thrilled by this unexpected but very gratifying cap to what has truly been a once-in-a-lifetime year around here! We are so thankful to all who made it possible.
Chicago’s TimeLine Theatre, which specializes in “stories inspired by history,” outdid itself with better-than-the-original productions of Aaron Sorkin’s “The Farnsworth Invention” and Peter Morgan’s “Frost/Nixon” performed in its own 87-seat theater, showing that a small troupe with creativity and nerve to burn can make as much magic as a big-ticket Broadway extravaganza.
The Wall Street Journal was just one of many end-of-the-year kudos that came TimeLine’s way as theatre critics and bloggers wrote about what they remembered most about theatre in Chicago during 2010. It was a tremendous year for many in the local theatre community, so we were honored to be included:
John Beer and Kris Vire named Frost/Nixon one of their “Ten Most Wanted” of 2010 in Time Out Chicago: “‘If the president does it, it’s not illegal!’ As Nixon, Terry Hamilton erupted with this dark credo for our times at the climax of Peter Morgan’s docuplay,” they wrote. “His bravura turn as the thuggish, though not unsympathetic, 37th President made Frost/Nixon stand out in a year of sharp political statements. Andrew Carter held his own as the insouciant Frost.”
Jonathan Abarbanel named ‘Master Harold’ … and the Boys one of his top dramas of 2010 on Chicago Public Radio’s City Room Blog, and then also in the Windy City Times: “Athol Fugard’s seemingly-simple three-character play illuminates nothing less than the soul of a nation—South Africa circa 1950—in a work that begins as comedy and then breaks your heart, and remains rich and warm and humane throughout. Under director Jonathan Wilson, the TimeLine production was a profound event, exquisitely acted by Alfred H. Wilson, Daniel Bryant and Nate Burger.”
To Master the Art was recognized as one of the Top 25 best-reviewed plays in Chicago during the year on Theatre In Chicago‘s “Chicago Play List: Top Shows of the Year.”
Carole Kuhrt Brewer picked Frost/Nixon as was one of her top 10 shows of the year on the Show Me Chicago blog: “I was not looking forward to another Frost/Nixon after living through the real thing and seeing the movie. How foolish of me. I had doubts that anyone could master the Nixon role better than Frank Langella in the movie, I was wrong again. Terry Hamilton, cast as Nixon in TimeLine’s production captured the Nixon persona to a “T”. The entire show was uncommonly well-cast, staged and produced. I felt as if I was eavesdropping on the actual event. Well-done, TimeLine.”
And finally, special kudos to Karen Janes Woditsch for being recognized as one of the Top 5 Performances of the year as Julia Child in To Master the Art by Newcity Stage!
Thanks to all who made 2010 a year to remember. We can’t wait to see what is to come in 2011!