Philip R  Smith and Allison Torem in Trust
(© Sean Williams)
Philip R Smith and Allison Torem in Trust
(© Sean Williams)
The Lookingglass Theatre Company's production of David Schwimmer and Andy Bellin's Trust opened to the press on Sunday night. Schwimmer and Heidi Stillman have co-directed the play, which is based on the screenplay by Bellin and Rob Festinger. The production continues through April 25.

The play concerns a seemingly innocent online encounter that threatens to unravel the fabric of an American family. The company features Amy J. Carle, Spencer Curnutt, Christine Mary Dunford, Raymond Fox, Keith Kupferer, Zanny Laird, Zoe Levin, Marianna Oharenko, Morocco Omari, Philip R. Smith, and Allison Torem.

The design team includes Dan Ostling (set), Mara Blumenfeld (costumes), Christine Binder (lighting), Rick Sims and Michael Griggs (sound), and Bridges Media (multimedia).

The reviews are in and critics are mostly finding the play compelling and Torem's and Smith's performances particularly notable.

Among the reviews are:

Chicago Tribune
Trust at Lookingglass: David Schwimmer's story of a shattered family hits close to home
"This piece, co-directed by Schwimmer and Heidi Stillman, certainly hits with force. On opening night, moist eyes were everywhere and narrative twists were often accompanied by vocal exclamations of shock from the people in the seats."

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"Smith, who plays the girl's father, is doing the best work of his long career in Chicago. Smith is a quiet, meditative kind of actor who shies away from flashy articulation. His inherent resistance to the rage that envelops this guy is precisely what gives that anger such force. And Torem, whom I first admired at the Profiles Theatre, seems to capture so many sides of her young character: independence, vulnerability, spark, sexual curiosity, sadness. I could barely stand it when her mother (Amy J. Carle) simply cries out that her daughter has been broken."

Chicago Sun-Times
Schwimmer's chat-room play a real eye-opener
"Though the play has all the essential ingredients of a Lifetime drama, it is considerably better than that for several reasons. First, there is the presence of Torem, the uncannily gifted 19-year-old actress who made such an indelible mark with her work at Profiles Theatre, and who gives a stage-burning turn here. She is raw and ready and blisteringly honest at every turn."

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"Also impressive is the way the writers have captured the complexity of Annie's responses to events, and the varying reactions of her family."

Time Out Chicago
Theater review: Trust
"Schwimmer and Bellin lay out their case study with little elegance or style; their dialogue reads like a crime-prevention brochure...A talented cast strives to infuse the stock characters with artificial life, but Trust fails to earn our confidence."

Variety
Trust
"...and while "Trust" isn't devoid of predictability or awkwardness, the show pays meticulous attention to the emotional arcs of its leading characters, providing an authenticity of feeling that adds depth to the purpose-driven drama."

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"Torem, a young Chicago actress, is absolutely uncanny in her ability to let us into Annie's emotional see-saw, as she's flattered by the attention from a young man with whom she has so much in common, causing her to justify the untruths without fully dispelling her uncertainties."