by Rachel Bonds


directed by Cody Estle


Raven Theatre

October 3 - November 17 2019



Artists are gifted people that can help take our minds off of our troubles.  Everyone has an artistic style.  But not every gifted artist can “sweep away” their consumers.  Playwright Rachel Bonds drama Sundown, Yellow Moon receiving its Chicago premiere at the Raven Theatre takes a look at the struggles and tribulations an artist faces while trying to create an epic work or at least something memorable and fun to sing along with, while having to attend to the daily duties of home and family.  Cody Estle, Raven’s Artistic Director will direct with music and lyrics by The Bengsons under the musical direction of Andra Velis Simon.  


Liz Chidester is Ray, who sings like an angel.  She has a twin sister, Joey (Diana Coates) who is a Fulbright Scholar. They have returned home to their sleepy, Southern college town keep an eye on their Dad (Will Casey).  He is recently divorced and has been suspended from the school he worked in because he hit a lady.  They are worried about him while still trying to maintain their own lives.  Ray is nursing a broken heart and has put her dreams aside for a while.  She’s happy to have the time at home while trying to get over her own heartbreak.  Joey, despite all the academic accolades to secure a brilliant career is still unfulfilled, she has no love in her life.  


Joey likes to take long walks in the woods and on one journey she meets Ted (Josh Odor), a poet who is by himself because his successful wife, a novelist, is off on a book tour.  They meet several times in the woods and Joey asks him to go away with her.  He is very tempted, but reality calls him back, his wife has cut the book tour short and he can only have a platonic relationship with Joey.  She is devastated, she has no control over her life after all and is doubting whether or not she should go to Germany to fulfill the scholarship.  


The neighbors frequently come and visit and encourage Joey to stay with them for a while.  But nothing seems to put them back together again.  Joey realizes that the best she can hope for is to keep trying to create something that will “sweep them away” so far that everything will return whole when the performance ends.  


Sundown, Yellow Moon bristles with the poetry of uncertainty, responsibility and realization.  Cody Estle says “Rachel is a gifted writer who has written a beautifully honest play which wrestles with family, returning home, hopes and dreams.  This slice of life play with music is sure to move our audiences.”  The play is a moving story, aided by a haunting set designed by Jeffrey D. Kmiec, with lighting designed by Becca Jeffords who on a postage stamp portion of the stage create ominous woods where the characters sort out their thoughts, feelings and goals.

Sundown, Yellow Moon runs through November 17 at the Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark Street.  To purchase tickets phone 773-338-2177 or visit


Review by Ruth Smerling
Raven Theatre
6157 N. Clark Street
IL 60660
Box Office: (773)-338-2177