'Sycamore' finds its roots at the Raven

Wed. March 15, 2017 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

"Sycamore" by Sarah Sander is the latest show playing at Roger Park's Raven Theatre Company, 6157 N Clark St.

The story is set in suburban Middle America surrounding a family full of issues. Louise Jacobs and her husband David are raising their two children Celia and Henry. Henry, played by Julian Larach, wrestles with his crush and cross dressing feelings. He thinks if he is only more like his sister then John Keller next door will be in love with him. Celia has her own set of problems but is fiercely protective of her brother. The family learns to deal with all the complications in fresh ways while navigating their life at home.

The ensemble cast is excellent and works well together. Jaslene Gonzalez is a natural as the boozy mother next door. She's come a long way since America's Next Top model had her stumbling over lines as an actress.

There is a pleasant tone to the show even when emotions run high. The transitions play like a movie and the production is as good as many bigger theater plays. Sometimes it is nice to be up close for a touching show. This one covers mental health, sexuality, and alcoholism. Everyone buries their pain in their own way until the truth finally comes out. The story may make your family problems seem like a breeze.

CAST: Robyn Coffin, Selina Fillinger, Jaslene Gonzalez, Tom Hickey, Julian Larach, Johnathan Nieves. The production team includes Jeffrey D. Kmiec (set design), kClare McKellaston (costume design), Brian Healy (lighting design), Stephen Gawrit (sound design), Jimmy Jagos (properties design) and Eileen Rozycki (scenic artist), Kelli N. Kovach (stage manager), Sarah Slight (dramaturg), Katrinka L. Smith (assistant stage manager), Conor Clark (technical director) and Diane D. Fairchild and Marissa Geocaris (master electricians).

See "Sycamore" at the Raven now through April 9.

Visit or call 773-338-2177 for ticket information.