Culture Magazine

Review: Breaks & Bikes (Pavement Group)

By Chicagotheaterbeat @chitheaterbeat

Review: breaks & bikes (Pavement Group)   
breaks & bikes 

Written by Mallery Avidon
Directed by Kathryn Walsh  
Collaboraction Studio, 1579 N. Milwaukee (map)
thru Dec 9  |  tickets: $25   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 



Well executed and intensely human


Review: breaks & bikes (Pavement Group)


Pavement Group presents


breaks & bikes

Review by Anuja Vaidya

Lives intertwine and collide when a 31-year-old finds himself in a coma after a motorcycle accident. Expected and unexpected faces surround his hospital bed, and breaks & bikes astutely explores the relationships that bind and separate them as they deal with the blow all their lives have been dealt.

Review: breaks & bikes (Pavement Group)
Drew, the aforementioned 31-year-old, lies comatose in the hospital. Over the course of the play we meet his mother, Deb, his friend, Jason, his ex-girlfriends, Cass and Ali, and his self-professed “friend-wife” Devin. As they awkwardly wait together in the hospital, they grapple with what his accident means to each of them. Drew’s relationships with Cass, Allie and Devin form the crux of the play. Each seems to have unanswered questions and a sense of bitterness about their relationship with him, but each feels a sense of entitlement of him. The tensions that exist between them play out, giving us insight into Drew’s life and personality. We also hear from Drew himself, who speaks to the audience (and to the characters onstage although nobody can hear him) and fills in bits of the story.

The script is well-structured, believable and character-driven. Small details like carefully picked ringtones for each character’s cell phone make them come alive. Perhaps the most compelling relationship is the one between Drew and Devin. The lyrics from “Anyone else, but you” by The Moldy Peaches best describes their friendship – “You’re a part-time lover and a full-time friend”. For years, their friendship has been rooted in support and physical intimacy. Drew’s girlfriends have been wary of Devin’s place in his life and Devin has never felt intimate with any man other than him.

The cast does a laudable job all around. Sasha Gioppo plays Cass particularly well, bringing out her conflicted feelings about being there for her ex-boyfriend. You get the sense that she doesn’t know why exactly she is waiting with everybody else at the hospital when things between her and Drew didn’t end well, but at the same time, she can’t leave. Cyd Blakewell plays the sharp and witty Devin with ease, illustrating the complexities of her characters relationship with Drew. Morgan McCabe, as Deb, is wonderful. Deb comes across as scattered but is incredibly endearing. Keith Neagle as Jason, would have gone unnoticed had it not been for his hilarious rant about his character’s ex-girlfriend. Comedic moments are few and far between in this rather serious play, but Jason’s outburst is certainly one of them.

Review: breaks & bikes (Pavement Group)

One of the reasons this play succeeds is because it remains focused on these few characters, and through them portrays the sense of being confused and still trying to figure your life out. None of the characters, including Deb, seem particularly settled and all of them seem to be nursing a sense of bitterness about the way their lives are unfolding.

However, the final message of the play is hopeful. It leaves you with the idea that the pain and bitterness felt towards both their respective lives, and Drew’s accident will melt away in time, and that the characters will find resolution.

The conclusion of the play doesn’t wrap things up neatly and leaves you with a sense that the characters have a long way to go, making this play a relatable look into the challenges of life and love.


Rating: ★★★



breaks & bikes continues through December 9th at Flat Iron Arts Building, Collaboraction Studio 300, 1579 N. Milwaukee (map), with performances Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays 6pm.  Tickets are $25, and are available online through (check for half-price tickets at More information at  (Running time: 1 hour 5 minutes, includes an intermission)

Review: breaks & bikes (Pavement Group)

Photos by Emily Schwartz 




Cyd Blakewell (Devin); Sasha Gioppo (Cass); Laura Lapidus (Ali); Morgan McCabe (Deb); Keith Neagle (Jason); Joe Wiens (Drew); Natalie DiCristofano (understudy)

behind the scenes

Kathryn Walsh (director); Mike Falvetis (asst. director); Mary Krupka (production assistant); Monica Brown (stage manager); Rick Combs (tech director); Shaun Renfro (scenic design); Janna Webber (lighting); David Federman (master electrician); Jeff Kelley (original composition, sound design); Aimee Plant (props); Melissa Torchia (costumes); Brittany D. Barnes (managing director); Luke Williams (graphics); Kelsey Wilk (asst. to the playwright); Emily Schwartz (photos)

Review: breaks & bikes (Pavement Group)

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Shilo Sanders- Son Of Deion Sanders Thanks Courts For Allowing Him To Live With...

    Shilo Sanders- Deion Sanders Thanks Courts Allowing Live With Pilar

    ChristianNews Shilo Sanders, the son of NFL Hall of Famer,  Deion Sanders took to twitter to “thank” the courts for allowing him to live with his mother, Pilar... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Firstladyb
  • “I Feel Great”

    Feel Great”

    Jakub went to his doctor's office believing that he had a back injury, but returned with a chocking diagnosis instead. He had type 2 diabetes - in spite of... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Dietdoctor
  • July Allotment Recap (2/2)

    July Allotment Recap (2/2)

    Sunday afternoon saw us return bravely to 24a even though there were more thundery showers foretold by the weatherman. I will admit that I guffawed at the... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Chrryblossomtat2
  • Culinary Delicacies in Croatia- What to Eat and Drink in Croatia

    Culinary Delicacies Croatia- What Drink Croatia

    In my earlier post, we spoke about how Croatia is a stunning European destination, let us now see what are the culinary delicacies in Croatia or what you can... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Kash Pals
  • #Golf Training Aids Spotlight: The Delta Putt

    #Golf Training Aids Spotlight: Delta Putt

    Do you consider yourself to be a strong putter or do you feel you could improve your make percentage on the green? Most amateurs could use help with the flat... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Golfforbeginners
  • Three Incredible Hikes in Southern Iceland3 Min Read

    Three Incredible Hikes Southern Iceland3 Read

    Nature takes center stage in Iceland, where there's a stunning view around every bend: massive glaciers, expansive lava fields, powerful waterfalls, black sand... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Healthytravelblog
  • What I Wore: Daytime Pajamas

    What Wore: Daytime Pajamas

    Pajama top: ELOQUII (14) | Pajama pants: ELOQUII (14) | Shoes: ASOS (similar) | Earrings: J. Crew ( same in different colors, similar concept in same color) |... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Wardrobeoxygen