Two young men, Iskinder and Aaron, meet in their dorm room at Brown. They quickly become friends and throw parties together. Aaron’s father is well connected and his recommendation of Iskinder leads him to get accepted at UCLA for law school. Aaron becomes an assistant for a producer as he works his way up the ladder in the film industry. Everything is looking great until Aaron gets pulled over for a broken tail light and gets arrested for an unknown reason. In the holding cell, he meets Dwight, who teaches him the rules of prison and so much more.
Just like Windy City Fieldhouse’s previous production, Southern Gothic, this play is presented in a immersive style. In contrast to Southern Gothic, there is only one story line. Instead of wandering around freely, the audience is escorted from the bar to the dorm room, to the back porch, to the prison cell, to the sushi restaurant, and to the sauna. The set design by Lauren Nigri is very impressive as each room unfolds into the next.
The cast is fantastic. Michael Aaron Pogue is great as Iskinder doing his best to fight for justice as a lawyer. Julian Hester is hilarious as Aaron Feldman, the Ferris Bueller type character who is always the center of attention. Lastly, Brian Keys is excellent as Dwight Barnes, the convict with questionable intentions.
The experience is one of only a few immersive theatre experiences in the Chicago scene recently. One was the Hubbard Street Dance Fall Series which featured dancers all over the Harris Theatre. They were in the lobby, stairways, the seats, the dressing rooms, and backstage. Another one is Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding in which you get to be a guest at a wedding for the ceremony and the reception (at two different locations). The third is Flanagan’s Wake, at Chicago Theatre Works, which is a wild Irish party. If you were a fan of any of these, you’ll definitely enjoy this Windy City Playhouse production.
Get tickets now for The Recommendation through September 22!
Cost of a ticket: $100
PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It –
Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother