Excellent! The Roommate at Steppenwolf Theatre (Through August 5, 2018)

Sharon is “retired from her marriage” and living in Iowa. She is lonely, so she decides to take in a roommate. In comes Robyn, who is moving from the Bronx. She hesitantly reveals that she is trying to escape her past and Sharon keeps pushing to find out more. Since Sharon doesn’t have much of an identity herself, she becomes somewhat obsessed with learning about Robyn and her dark past. They become fast friends, but perhaps they are too different for it to last.

Sandra Marquez (The Doppelgänger and Mary Page Marlowe) is excellent as Sharon. She plays her as an affectionate mother and roommate who is unaware when she is becoming too nosy. Ora Jones (The Doppelgänger) is perfect as Robyn. She is clearly stressed out about all the attention she is getting from Robyn. This was not what she was looking for when she decided to move to Iowa. Together they have great chemistry as their relationship continually shifts.

Music plays a big role in this production. Sharon says she doesn’t listen to any music except for the one mix CD that her son gave to her. On the other hand, Robyn loves music and happily introduces many different artists. The music really brings them together and strengthens their friendship. For example, Robyn puts on “Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monae and for the first time in the play, Sharon loosens up and starts to dance. They also dance to “Si tu vois ma mére” (If you see my mother) by Sidney Bechet in a key moment that is truly heightened by the music. On an interesting note, this song is also used in the opening in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris.

The Soundtrack:

Song Title                                       Artist

My Stone                                        Chastity Brown

Drive Slow                                     Chastity Brown

Dancing for the Answers            Nick Mulvey

Transcendental Reunion            Mary Chapin Carpenter

Make Me Feel                                Janelle Monae

Pride and Vanity                           Ohio Players

Sing For You                                   Tracy Chapman

Agitation                                         Erykah Badu

Let You Win                                    Macy Gray

Sail On                                              Sharon Jones, The Dap Kings

When I Fall In Love                       Bill Evans

Fever To The Form                        Nick Mulvey

Si tu vois ma mére                         Sidney Bechet

I Said You Lied                                Gladys Knight

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Get tickets now for The Roommate through August 5th!

Quinn Delaney

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