Review: Eat Your Heart Out (Rivendell Theatre)

| June 15, 2014
Katherine Keberlein and Anne Joy star in Rivendell Theatre's "Eat Your Heart Out" by Courtney Baron, directed by Hallie Gordon. (photo credit: Joe Mazza)        
Eat Your Heart Out

Written by Courtney Baron 
Directed by Hallie Gordon
at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge (map)
thru July 12  |  tickets: $30   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
                   Read review

    Now extended through July 12th!


An exemplary study of the times we live in


Andrew Goetten and Anne Joy in Rivendell Theatre's "Eat Your Heart Out" by Courtney Baron, directed by Hallie Gordon. (photo credit: Joe Mazza)

Rivendell Theatre presents
Eat Your Heart Out

Review by Kat Hey

Does the truth always have to hurt? Is it all about perspective or are we really deep in denial about ourselves in American society? These are the questions that I pondered while walking home after watching Eat Your Heart Out. Good theater is entertaining at the very least but great theater remains in the consciousness because it reveals the facets of human nature and all of the distortions in perception. This is great theater.

Anne Joy in Rivendell Theatre's "Eat Your Heart Out" by Courtney Baron, directed by Hallie Gordon. (photo credit: Joe Mazza)Eat Your Heart Out is the intertwining story of six people in their search for love, companionship, and family. Playwright Courtney Baron’s writing is sharply funny and revealing in how idiotic people can be when trying to make a good impression. In the end, the real self is revealed like the bad penny that won’t go away, and you never know how the smallest gesture affects someone else and how it gets paid forward.

Evie (Anne Joy) is an overweight teenaged girl who yearns for her best friend Colin (Andrew Goetten) to fall in love with her. Evie is on an emotional see-saw as a child of divorce and living with her overachieving mother Nance (Katherine Keberlein), who is trying her hand at internet dating and meets Tom (Charlie Strater).  We meet the final characters, Alice (Mary Cross) and Gabe (Michael Szeles), through a very tense adoption interview with Nance (who is an adoption investigator/social worker), learning that they are desperate to adopt a child after several failed in vitro attempts.

Director Hallie Gordon has done a superb job in guiding and pacing her talented cast.  Joy is stunning as Evie, with an expressive face that is as revealing as her dialogue.  Goetten plays Colin as a very realistic teenaged boy, playing a geek with an edge. Strater excel as the guy who is trying really hard to make a good first impression on his blind date. Cross and Szeles provide the best comic lines in the play as they worry over being perceived as too Jewish, too rich, drinking too much, and all sorts of imagined reasons to keep a child from their home.

The dialogue is timed perfectly with split second pacing for reaction and interaction. The stories are forged into a climax that leaves the audience wanting more – which is a good thing. The characters unraveling and yet being tied together is a beautiful synergy that invites the audience to envision the outcome.

Eat Your Heart Out delves into the dark world of image. Body image, images of gentility, and the illusion that love is dependent upon image. It is a vivid look at the struggle for connection and completion. Society and the media create impossible standards but we try anyway. No one wants to be themselves but in the end, after all of the striving-it’s only you looking back in the mirror. This is an exemplary study of the times we live in. It is honest, funny, and achieves the Rivendell goal of ‘stirring the pot’ into a wondrous feast of theater. I highly recommend Eat Your Heart OutTake a friend (or see it with a family member if you are feeling brave) – you will have plenty to talk about afterwards.

Rating: ★★★½

Eat Your Heart Out continues through June 28th July 12th at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge (map), with performances Wednesdays-Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays 4pm and 8pm.  Tickets are $30, and are available by phone (773-334-7728) or online through their website (check for half-price tickets at More information at time: 90 minutes, no intermission)

Michael Szeles, Mary Cross and Katherine Keberlein in Rivendell Theatre's "Eat Your Heart Out" by Courtney Baron, directed by Hallie Gordon. (photo credit: Joe Mazza)

Photos by Joe Mazza 




Mary Cross (Alice), Michael Szeles (Gabe), Katherine Keberlein (Nance), Anne Joy (Evie), Andrew Goetten (Colin), Charlie Strater (Tom)

behind the scenes

Hallie Gordon (director), Pat Fries(associate producer), Hannah Baker Bramson (assistant stage manager), Rigel Nunez (technical director), Regina Garcia (scenic designer), Diane Fairchild (lighting design), Victoria “Toy” DeIorio (sound design), Christine Pascual (costume design), Lucy Shuh (assistant production designer), Joe Mazza (photos)


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Category: 2014 Reviews, Extensions-Remounts, K.D. Hopkins, Rivendell Theatre

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