“You could see the show as science fiction. Or you could see as a meditation on grief and loss.
“In its best moments … the show reminds me of Bowie’s Lazarus, a show that made no sense to me whatsoever until I found out that Bowie was dying and this was his meditation, his fever-dream, on how to cross over to the other side. In some ways, TAKE ME is a very prescient musical: I’m convinced we’ll soon we seeing far more explorations of inter-planetary dreaming, born of environmental necessity.
“You’ll find plenty here to merit a trip to Strawdog: At times, I was tempted to close my eyes, getting lost in the Bowie-esque longing you can find in these lush and potent melodies, true and vital feeling hidden in pastiche … the score deserves to be more widely heard.”
– Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
“This show has charm and imagination to spare.”
– Chicago Theatre Review
“When audiences walk into Strawdog Theatre’s space for TAKE ME … you might just feel like you are entering a completely new universe. Perhaps in a world that is increasingly full of doubt and conflict, a musical like TAKE ME is precisely the kind of lesson we need.”
– Picture This Post
“An infectious rock score and impressive vocal talents.”
– New City Stage
“TAKE ME dares to dig into its darkness … It has a laser focused first act that ends with a bang, and a second act with constant twists and turns on an emotional roller coaster.”
– Chicago Theatre Triathalon
“Lawfer keeps the energy high and the interactions truthful.”
TAKE ME is a world premiere musical by Mark Guarino featuring all-new original songs by Jon Langford (The Mekons).
Inspired by true events, TAKE ME is the story of Shelly, a woman trapped by the trauma of a husband in a coma and the chaos that follows. Her disintegrated mental state translates into the conviction that her husband and missing son have been abducted by aliens.
To seek answers, Shelly enters the realm of wild conspiracy theories. She joins an alien abductee support group led by Travis, a Nashville country songwriter who has been traveling through space writing songs on behest of the aliens he serves. Voices that Shelly believes are aliens tell her the answer to all her problems is to build an amusement park in Roswell, N.M. that will serve as a connector to another dimension.
Shelly, a former architect who walked away from her job after her husband’s tragedy, uses her professional skills to build a model of the amusement park (Area 52) that eventually “comes to life” through her imagination. She enters this magical world seeking answers but ends up getting one she didn’t anticipate from the beginning.
TAKE ME is a comic fantasia that also represents the second collaboration between Guarino and Langford since their hit play ALL THE FAME OF LOFTY DEEDS. It is a story about having faith in a world where there are more questions than answers.
Full-length with music.
Versatile cast of seven actors with opportunities for doubling.