The Next Big Thing | The Factory Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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Michael Courier

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through April 21 2018
Price: $25, $18 students and seniors
The once bratty, trashy Factory Theater is either losing its edge or growing up. I vote the latter. Carrie J. Sullivan’s new play about starry-eyed teen singer-songwriter Beth trying to find her way in the cynical world of commercial recording is another in a recent spate of mature, full-length plays from the Factory. Sullivan uses Beth’s uphill climb toward stardom to question whether raw, idiosyncratic artistry stands a chance in a business that confuses marketability with talent. The answers aren’t terribly surprising, and Sullivan’s loose structure makes everything feel less urgent than it might. But her story is engaging nonetheless, populated with engaging, iconic characters—the burned-out producer, the long-suffering technician, the glam-infatuated assistant—all brought convincingly to life in director Robyn Coffin’s sure-footed production. —Justin Hayford



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