Life Gets Complicated When The World Goes… “boom”

Reviewed by: S. L. Crawley

Highly Recommended


Directed by Chad Gilliland

Written By Peter Sinn Nachtreib

Life is a mess, or rather an organized chaos that without fail consumes your mind. But getting us through the sludge, the daily grind – is choice. We can either learn to live with our mess or clean it up. And while trying to understand the mysteries of relativity, space, and time – I wonder how often each of us has wished we could capture time in a bottle, stall it, escape and review it. Peter Sinn Nachtreibs’ boom now playing at Chicago’s Honest Theatre and wonderfully directed by Chad Gilliland, captures the moment – the end of us, the beginning of the others. It’s so refreshing to see theatre that explores this ‘what if’ scenario with heart and enthusiasm.

We are taken into the world of Jules (Evan Cullinan), a young, naïve helpless sap who happens to be a marine biologist that has discovered a comet will hit earth and destroy life, as we know it. He decides unequivocally it’s best if he repopulates earth come hell or high water, taking out a personal ad where he meets Jo (Duana Menefee), a cynical talented narcoleptic journalism student not the least bit interested in anything Jules has to offer. Jules efforts to remove desire and force a relationship once society is destroyed, along with his relentless belief that no task is impossible – gnaws away any understanding or sympathy from Jo who cannot fathom how someone could randomly pick anyone to spend their last days with, much less repopulate the earth.

The show is a brave take on human connection, with stellar performances. A simple, but detailed set is perfect because there are no bells and whistles to hide behind, which accentuates its authenticity. Barbara (Sharon Biermann) runs the show – literally. She guides us through the perils of the past with the flip of a switch, sweeping us into the lives of two very different people faced with an unspeakable tragedy. Profound & tragic, it oscillates between serious & funny – and I loved every minute of it. To see the last two people on earth rattle each other’s cage, anxious to see the world – reminds me of the conundrum many face today. We want to stay inside our little cages, but sooner or later we all have to go outside, no matter how dangerous we think it is. And it’s probably going to take someone else’s nagging to get us to do it.

boom at Honest Theatre, remaining shows are December 10th through the 12th at 7:30pm and December 13th at 2:30pm

1579 North Milwaukee