Theatre in Review

Saturday, 03 February 2018 00:05

Review: "Nice Girl" at Raven Theatre Featured

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(left to right) Lucy Carapetyan and Benjamin Sprunger in Raven Theatre’s Chicago premiere of NICE GIRL, by Melissa Ross, directed by Lauren Shouse. (left to right) Lucy Carapetyan and Benjamin Sprunger in Raven Theatre’s Chicago premiere of NICE GIRL, by Melissa Ross, directed by Lauren Shouse. Photo by Michael Brosilow

Having been wanting to check it out for quite a while, I was excited to go see Nice Girl at the Raven Theatre, the theatre’s latest offering, this one by Melissa Ross and directed by Lauren Shouse. Upon entering the Edgewater located venue, I walked into the warmth and was greeted by two friendly gentlemen. It is an unassuming, no thrills theatre, and unfortunately was missing a bar. As I went to find a seat, I noticed the sense of community at Raven Theatre. It was clear the staff was close-knit and well-connected in the theatre community.

I was immediately transported to Massachusetts as they play started. Both Josephine, played by Lucy Carapetyan, and her mother Francine, who is played by Lynne Baker, show fantastic chemistry from the get go and the banter between the two is strong, to say the least. In fact, their repartee is so realistic at times as they both pushed each other's buttons it made me uncomfortable.

The premise of the play is that Josephine is 37, single, and living with her mother. She befriends a coworker named Sherri (Stella Martin) who happens to be the saving grace of this play. She brings a much-needed energy to the sad life that Carapetyan so convincingly brought to her character. As the play progresses we are introduced to Donnie (Benjamin Sprunger) who is an old classmate of Josephine and they start to build a budding romance. But the characters prove to be bland.

There is a twist in the second half of the play in which I missed completely, most likely due to the lack of interest in the play’s characters. I truly struggled with the play and what it offers to its audience. It is sad and without much hope until the end of the show. What I yearned for was the steady, noticeable growth of Josephine throughout the challenges of her relationship with her mother but again, some changes occurred at the end.

Nice Girl is a bit hard to watch but it does have some humor breaks here and there, albeit on the more minor side – not enough to salvage the play. I struggled with feeling much hope for the main character. If seeing the play, be prepared to be sad and have a lot of hurt in your heart. However, when walking out of the Theatre many patrons commented that they enjoyed Nice Girl, obviously appealing to the taste of several theatre goers. Who’s to say who will enjoy what so, as always, check it out and make your own opinion.
Nice Girl is being performed at Raven Theatre where it is running until March 11th. Tickets available at

Last modified on Monday, 05 February 2018 12:14
Sara Hassan

"Living the dream and loving life."



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