Steppenwolf Theatre YOU GOT OLDER Review – A Tough Relationship

Steppenwolf Theatre YOU GOT OLDER
Caroline Neff and Francis Guinan Photo: Michael Brosilow

For most, parents are a source of comfort in your life. Sometimes, you need to be the source of comfort in their lives. In Steppenwolf’s latest production, YOU GOT OLDER, we follow Mae as she returns home and does some self-reflecting trying to connect with her ailing father.

Steppenwolf Goes to Seattle

Mae is dealing with a lot. She dumped her boyfriend, lost her job, and has a rash that just won’t go away. On top of all that, her father is suffering from throat cancer and is undergoing surgery in a few days.

Faced with nowhere else to go but home, May returns to Seattle to take care of her father. Throughout her stay, she struggles with trying to connect to her father as well as work through her own worries as she gets older.

Steppenwolf Theatre YOU GOT OLDER
Glenn Davis and Caroline Neff Photo: Michael Brosilow

Actors Give It All They’ve Got

Francis Guinann playing Dad, plays the look on the bright side kind of dad, happy just to have his kids around.

Caroline Neff plays Mae with an appropriate amount of disengagement that makes us want to shake her and tell her to stop thinking about her sex fantasy cowboy (played by Gabriel Ruiz). It’s a good frustration, if only it came to a more favorable end.

Side by side, the pair show us a father daughter relationship that circle each other looking to connect, but don’t quite manage it.

Steppenwolf Theatre YOU GOT OLDER
Gabriel Ruiz and Caroline Neff Photo: Michael Brosilow

Meandering Plot

There are quite a few plays currently running in Chicago that center around 20 or 30 something year olds trying to resonate with audiences with their onstage quarter-life crisis. YOU GOT OLDER is no exception.

Neff and Guinan play their roles of a disengaged daughter and pleasant-as-anything father very truthfully as is expected from Steppenwolf’s company members. However, for this writer the plot left something to be desired. It lacked an emotional connection with its audience and left us with what felt like a very non-committal ending.

YOU GOT OLDER might resonate with those who have dealt with similar situations or like a laid-back, surface level play. It might not be the best for those who are looking for a more gripping and deeper story.


Steppenwolf Theatre YOU GOT OLDER
Emjoy Gavino, Caroline Neff, Audrey Francis, and David Lind Photo: Michael Brosilow
Steppenwolf Theatre YOU GOT OLDER
Caroline Neff and Glenn Davis Photo: Michael Brosilow


Now through March 11
Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 7:30pm
Saturdays at 3:00pm and 7:30pm
Sundays at 3:00pm with select 7:30pm


Steppenwolf Theatre
1650 N Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60614


Tickets can be purchased by visiting the Steppenwolf Theatre website


Michael Brosilow

Note: An excerpt of this review appears in Theatre in Chicago

Alexis Bugajski Photo: Liz Lin

About the Author

Alexis is a theater reviewer, travel bug, media specialist, and burger & beer enthusiast. During the day she works in the advertising business as a senior communications designer. When night falls, or when she can escape to New York, she’s hitting the theaters to see as many shows as she can. And whenever she’s not at her desk or in the audience, she’s out seeking the best burger and beer offerings in Chicago.

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

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