Reviews | Press Clips
“The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” at 16th Street
“Four stars… Baker’s uncanny but not imitative channeling of Daisey only highlights the writer’s unnerving skill at weaving parallel narratives into a compelling whole. The playwright isn’t condemning Apple exclusively but the entire electronics industry and our consumer role in refusing to question the provenance of our goods. If any audience members leave without thinking differently about the devices in our pockets, they weren’t listening honestly.” — Kris Vire, Time Out Chicago
“The information in ‘Agony 2.0,’ here performed by actor Lance Baker, has been fact-checked, exhaustively scrutinized and corroborated by plenty of sources like The New York Times. Regardless, this is a theater review, not an exposé, and ‘TATESJ’ is an exemplary, hysterical, coyly mobilizing work of theater… profound, effective, poignant and hilarious.” — Johnny Oleksinski, Newcity Chicago
“Staged with a witty, precise touch, the new Agony is a riveting tale about an important issue.” — Keith Griffith, Chicago Reader
“The piece has been tweaked since that scandal, and if anything, it’s more powerful. It takes a gifted storyteller to keep a nearly two-hour monologue on overseas sweatshops from turning into a preach-fest… actor/director Lance Baker keeps his audience rapt. And, often, laughing… there’s no denying the power of Baker’s wry, understatedly acerbic and self-deprecating delivery…. a rip-roaring piece of storytelling and a provocative piece of theater.” — Catey Sullivan, Oak Park Suntimes
“Highly Recommended! Baker is sensational in this adventure! Our job as an audience is to be entertained! That is why we go to the theater, isn’t it? To break away from the stress and strife in our own lives, for at least a small period of time, where we can laugh or cry and have a diversion from the things that may be troubling us. This production DOES that!” — Alan Bresloff, Around the Town Chicago
And… if you’d like to read a hilarious recap (by our local culturistas Eric and Andy) about a brief but illuminating dustup between Daisey, myself, and the head writer/domain registrar of Chicagocritic.com, you can light the snark fart here.
“SAVVY AND SMART, VERY VERY FUNNY” —Chicago Tribune
“ALTERNATELY DISTURBING AND DISTURBINGLY FUNNY, A TWISTED JOY TO BEHOLD” —Chicago Theatre Beat
“KNIFE-EDGED REPARTEE, RAZOR-SHARP PERFORMANCES, LAUGH-OUT-LOUD LINES” —Chicago Sun-Times
“BLAZINGLY CLEVER” —Time Out Chicago
Speed-the-Plow (American Theater Company):
Chris Jones (Chicago Tribune): “You can’t skip ‘Speed-the-Plow,’ which is blisteringly fine…. ‘Speed-the-Plow’ features the loving ministrations of Lance Baker, who nails a character smart enough to know that the gods of showbiz usually offer only one shot, and that no pain in life is more acute than seeing that opportunity slip out of your fingers.”
Hedy Weiss (Chicago Sun-Times): “Get yourself over to the American Theater Company, where Rick Snyder and his three phenomenal actors (Nicole Lowrance, Darrell W. Cox and Lance Baker), are battling their way through the most bitter, bruising, revelatory and wholly accomplished productions ever given these brash pursuit-of-power dramas…. As for Baker’s scalpel-sharp work in ‘Plow,’ it only confirms his giddy-making genius for bitingly comic high anxiety behavior.”
Speed-the-Plow was Jeff Recommended with a best supporting Jeff nomination for Lance Baker.