Redtwist Theatre I SAW MY NEIGHBOR ON THE TRAIN Review – All in the Family

Jacqueline Grandt (Rebecca), Kathy Ruhl (Daphne), Adam Bitterman (Jamie) Photo: Jan Ellen Graves

Hundreds of people pass us by each day.

What would it be like if we said what we felt?

Said hello to someone who strikes our fancy?

Took hold of our own destinies?

Most of the time we’re afraid or we don’t have anyone encouraging us along the way. In Redtwist Theatre’s I SAW MY NEIGHBOR ON THE TRAIN...AND I DIDN'T EVEN SMILE, we find having that support means everything.

Redtwist’s Three Generations of Women

The show is meant to explore three women’s personal issues and how they can ultimately help each other grow. After a newsworthy sex scandal in California, Sadie is sent to Illinois to live with her father, who then sends her to live with his sister Rebecca, and frequent visitor mother, Daphne.

Over the course of 90+ minutes, we unpack these women’s histories - why Sadie let herself be filmed by football players, why Rebecca has a trouble with relationships, and what Daphne has kept hidden from her family all these years. We’re taken through conflict after conflict in hopes things will look up for these women after the bleak Illinois winter.

Kathy Ruhl (Daphne), Emma Maltby (Sadie), Jacqueline Grandt (Rebecca) Photo: Jan Ellen Graves
Kathy Ruhl (Daphne), Joshua Servantez (Eric) Photo: Jan Ellen Graves

Dry-Humor Pops

Setting up our conflict, we begin with Rebecca and her brother Jamie played by Jacqueline Grandt and Adam Bitterman, respectively. At first, it seemed to this writer to take them a bit to fall into a natural rhythm so the dialogue felt a bit stilted.  But once more characters came into the scenes, they hit their stride. The dry, dead-pan humor coming from Sadie and Eric played by Emma Maltby and Joshua Servantez has the audience laughing out of surprise. And Daphne played by Kathleen Ruhl has some refreshingly blunt moments.

Feel Right at Home in the Redtwist Theatre

The set and costume designer, Arnel Sancianco and Kotryna Hilko, captured the essence of living in the blustery Midwest. Just in time as our own weather changes, our actors bundle up in winter coats, hats, and scarves. It makes us feel right at home with their theatrical conventions.

Set in the blackbox theater at RedTwist, the space could pass for a small apartment we’re all too familiar with here in Chicago - linoleum floors, 80s style ceiling light, and just enough room for a modest kitchen table and sofa. Though most of the action takes place here in Rebecca’s home, our actors move from place to place changing the scenery as need be.

Emma Maltby (Sadie), John Blick (Paul) Photo: Jan Ellen Graves

Finding home or finding comfort in those who accept you for who you are was crucial for our three main ladies. Though they may be uncertain about what the future holds, at least they’re working towards a better tomorrow. I SAW MY NEIGHBOR ON THE TRAIN is a good fit for someone who has a taste for familial drama.


Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO, where it will remain until the end of the run. Click here to read – Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.

Adam Bitterman (Jamie), Jacqueline Grandt (Rebecca) Photo: Jan Ellen Graves


Now through December 18, 2017
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30pm
Sundays at 3:00pm
Note: there is no performance on Thu, Nov 23 (Thanksgiving Day)


Redtwist Theatre
1044 W Bryn Mawr
Chicago, IL 60640




Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 773.728.7539 or online at the Redtwist website


Jan Ellen Graves

Editor's Note:  Click here to read more Picture this Post articles by Alexis Bugajski


Note: An excerpt of this play appears in Theatre in Chicago.

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