The Last Barbecue

written by Brett Neveu
Directed by Ann Filmer
July 9- August 8, 2009

An audacious and dark comedy about a ten-year reunion of a son’s high school graduation that coincides with the one-year anniversary of the next-door neighbor’s death. Chris Cantelmi and Nancy Friedrich join the original cast from The Aardvark’s 2000 production: Ashley Bishop, Don Blair and Ann James.

Nine years later, the play still has the vision and craft of storefront theater at its best. – John Beer, Time Out Chicago

If you have not yet made it out to 16th Street Theater, grasp this opportunity to experience a fine production by a splendid theater company. Highly Recommended! – Chris Arnold, ChicagoCritic.com

“The Last Barbeque’ not an outing you want to miss! Nobody captures the angst and the blacker-than-a-black-hole comedy of a backyard meltdown like Brett Neveu.” – Chicago Examiner

“Hilarious in the darkest possible way… Inspired pitch-black comedic brilliance and the horrific familiarity of an old family photo album.” – Catey Sullivan, Pioneer Press

“Ann Filmer’s emotionally delicate, physically rooted staging never takes a false step. Recommended! “- Laura Molzahn, Chicago Reader

“Funny in an absurdist kind of way.” – Fabrizio O. Almeida, New City

Brett Neveu has worked with many theatres, including The Goodman Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club. Plays include Gas For Less, Eric LaRue and American Dead.
REVIEWS FROM THE AARDVARK’S 2000 PRODUCTION:
–“Hilarious and ominous, The Last Barbecue pierces its doomed world view with humor sharp enough to wound.” – Catey Sullivan, New City (Chicago)

–“Neveu is lucky that his play landed in the hands of a director as capable as Ann Filmer. She makes the most of Neveu’s script, turning every pause into a chance for drama… The Last Barbecue contains some of the most beautiful, pregnant, well-orchestrated pauses this side of Harold Pinter… The superb cast deliver nuanced performances… Highly Recommended – Jack Helbig, Chicago Reader

MORE QUOTES FROM REVIEWS:
–No one can accuse Brett Neveu’s likable dark comedy of being talky. Most of the time its five characters speak in short, seemingly innocuous sentences… They seem largely ill at ease with one another. And it’s amazing how much they convey… Mr. Neveu and his cast have captured an unspoken group awareness of an awful truth: nothing is going to change here. Nobody’s going anywhere.” – Anita Gates, The New York Times

–“Like all the best theatre, The Last Barbecue offers an intimate glimpse at humanity at its most human. That quiet desperation that Thoreau wrote about is palpable.” – Martin Denton, nytheatre.com

–a “seductively subtle, stylish play, in a sort of middle-American Pinteresque vein. An effectively surreal and original indictment of the middle-American family – no easy feat that.” – Michael Lazan, Back Stage (NY)

–“In The Last Barbecue, Brett Neveu demonstrates that a thing of infinite sadness also may never hurry. He does this with extreme audacity and absolute authorial confidence.” – David Finkle, Theatremania.com (NY)