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  The Abuelas at Antaeus Theater

The Abuelas

Antaeus Theater
110 E. Broadway Glendale

Gabriela is an Argentine concert cellist living in Chicago with her American husband and adjusting to life as a new mom. A surprise visit from two strangers exposes a devastating secret in this visceral look at the repercussions of Argentina's so-called "Dirty War." This West Coast Premiere explores the heart's capacity for forgiveness - even in the face of the harshest betrayal.

Thru - Nov 25, 2019

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 818-506-1983

  The Abuelas Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Los Angeles Times - Recommended

"...“The Abuelas” is the first Antaeus production developed in-house, in its Playwrights Lab — a departure from the company’s specialty, classics. They’ve done it a lot of credit, with a strong cast, lavish design and sophisticated staging. The script still feels a few drafts away from finding its story, the right balance between fact and fiction, but it totally sticks the landing. Try not to cry."
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Margaret Gray

Broadway World - Recommended

"...Andi Chapman directs this technically-polished production with the enhanced vibrations coming from the theatre floor complementing the lighting by Andrew Schmedake and the sound by Jeff Gardner."
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Gil Kaan

Stage and Cinema - Somewhat Recommended

"...Gabriela's acceptance of Carolina and rejection of Soledad unfolds as a fait accompli. The writing attempts to acknowledge the emotional turmoil of the situation without truly exploring it. Director Andi Chapman seems intent on avoiding the whole thing collapsing into soap opera, but in doing so, the drama itself feels inert. We are left applauding the reunion of granddaughter and grandmother with little sense of what it will mean for either of them. It's like the whole play has been backstory for a far more complex tale of what will come next."
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Samuel Garza Bernstein

LA Splash - Highly Recommended

"...Director Andi Chapman does a yeoman’s job of teasing out every emotion in this taut drama of a possible stolen identity. To add to the tension, the actors really get their teeth into this incendiary story and breathe life into their characters as they handle the unexpected and unpredictable, events which turn their lives upside-down. The audience should not be surprised if they find themselves pulled right into that living room as the tale unfolds."
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Elaine Mura

Stage Scene LA - Somewhat Recommended

"...Departing from its tradition of reviving theatrical classics, Antaeus Theatre Company opens its 2019/2020 season with the West Coast Premiere of The Abuelas, Stephanie Alison Walker’s mostly disappointing follow-up to The Madres."
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Steven Stanley

On Stage Los Angeles - Recommended

"...The details of "The Disappeared" in Argentina as the "dirty war" comes into play are revealed as the final polemic, enhanced by Gabriela's nightmare memories are played out by Carolina Montenegro as Belen, writhing in pain, reflecting the ravages of the dirty war. Adam R. Macias's perfect projections enhance and strong performances by the cast, reveal a story that sends Gabriela's life in an unexpected direction. It mostly plays well. DeSanto's bombastic volume and over the top performance seems either totally out of place or the rest of the cast was reluctant to broadcast what seems to show in the script as more subtle exposition is on director Andi Chapman. How she allowed this actor to overwhelm the scenes that he is prominent in might be a call for some attention. An audience stays 'in' a performance when the players are all in the same play at the same time. This actor may have imagined himself at the Pantages where one projects to an audience of three thousand?"
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Michael Sheehan

Gia on the Move - Recommended

"...The wide Antaeus stage is transformed into an immaculate Chicago lakeside apartment, it feels like a sitcom set, and the first twenty minutes of the play delivers plenty of laughs as a high-achieving neo-liberal couple (Seamus Dever and Luisina Quarleri), he's an architect, she's a cellist, deal with the wife's hilariously interfering mother (Denise Blasor), visiting from Argentina."
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Guy Picot

Showmag - Recommended

"...Chapman’s light hand steers the actors with assurance; at times, though, she is betrayed by the well-executed but overly realistic set (designed by Edward E. Haynes) that does not afford spaces for the outdoor scenes, or the prison flashbacks. Andrew Schmedake’s lighting endeavors to remedy the difficulty, pin-pointing specific areas. Gabriella’s cello, natural sounds, as well as echoes of tortures past (designed by Jeff Gardner) help to move through the scenes."
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Leigh Kennicott

Stage Raw - Somewhat Recommended

"...Like The Madres, Walker’s latest work comes with the moral high ground engendered by its focus on a terrible, unforgivable event in modern history. It’s hard to dispute the core value of a drama that looks to preserve the memory of victims of unconscionable crimes and to honor the work of groups like the Abuelas, which seeks to reunite the orphaned children of the disappeared with members of their biological family."
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Deborah Klugman

Theatre Notes - Recommended

"...Under the direction of Andi Chapman, the two-act play is intense and affecting, delivered by a cast at the top of their craft. Sometimes the pace lags, but that is a small quibble in an otherwise sterling performance."
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Paul Myrvold

Colorado Boulevard - Recommended

"...Too often plays about married couples emphasize the brokenness without also considering the work real couples do to stay together. Walker, Quarleri and Dever, and director Andi Chapman capture the real fire of love - both long-term and fleeting - within this production, reason alone to watch."
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Melanie Hooks

On Stage and Screen - Somewhat Recommended

"...The story of the children of the disappeared is a fascinating one I have never seen dramatized onstage, and the play shines brightest when it focuses on that rather than getting swept up into trivial interpersonal drama that is of little consequence."
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Erin Conley

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