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Articles tagged with: Redtwist Theatre

‘Going to a Place’ with ice cream for eternity, but where dialogue and plausibility are thin

Jun 27, 2017 – 10:11 pm
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Review: There’s a native directness about veteran Kathleen Ruhl’s acting that never fails to connect the viewer to her character. Call it authenticity. But no amount of straight shooting from the stage can magically turn a weak play into something terrific. Ruhl has demonstrated that proposition in two different plays in recent weeks — currently in Bekah Brunstetter’s “Going to a Place Where You Already Are” at Redtwist Theatre. ★★

‘Death of a Salesman’ at Redtwist: Bringing resonant life to a fractured soul on the brink

Feb 16, 2017 – 5:59 pm
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Review: Brian Parry’s heartbreaking performance as Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” at Redtwist Theatre is the finest work I’ve seen on a Chicago stage this season. A virtually tactile experience in a tiny, in-your-face venue, this is gigantic acting on the most intimate scale. Even better for theater buffs, the show’s run has been extended through March 26. ★★★★★

‘Scarcity’ at Redtwist: A down and out drama that’s a couple of beers short of a six pack

Sep 13, 2016 – 3:25 pm
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Review: The two kids are very bright, their jobless father is a contented drunk and their outwardly flinty mother coddles him. They, along with a couple of low-trajectory friends and a visionary young teacher new to the community, are the denizens of Lucy Thurber’s “Scarcity,” now in its Chicago premiere at Redtwist Theatre. ★★

Role Playing: Adam Bitterman, unlikely florist in ‘Seedbed,’ dug deep to create a rare bloom

Jul 13, 2016 – 11:59 pm
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Interview: Adam Bitterman’s earthy and lusty and sometimes unnerving performance as the improbable florist Mick, a middle-aged guy enamored of an 18-year-old girl in Bryan Delaney’s “The Seedbed” at Redtwist Theatre, defies you to take your eyes off him. But the veteran actor had his doubts about even taking on the prodigious part, and this elusive character who finds himself caught up in a family’s sordid conflict.

‘The Seedbed’ at Redtwist: Guy walks into bar, sees this beautiful young girl; guy’s, like, older

Jun 24, 2016 – 2:11 pm
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Review: Maggie and Mitch are so in love. She’s 18 and he could be, oh, three times her age. What’s wrong with this picture? That would depend on which of four perspectives you subscribe to in Redtwist Theatre’s excruciating take on Irish playwright Bryan Delaney’s “The Seedbed.” ★★★★

‘The Realization of Emily Linder’ at Redtwist: Mom’s ready for death, but not without toes

May 19, 2016 – 11:13 am
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Review: Life, suggests Richard Strand’s play “The Realization of Emil Linder,” is like a stack of DVDs. What’s in it for you depends on how you look at it. That warm and fuzzy proposition, couched within dark comedy, makes for an amusing if fairly bizarre night out at Redtwist Theatre. ★★★

‘The Drawer Boy’ at Redtwist: Tragedy buried in distant past, and a present unremembered

Feb 9, 2016 – 7:47 pm
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Review: Inevitable in every theater season is the sleeper play, the one you overlook: the curiously titled unknown quantity you don’t quite connect with as a lure from the hearth on a cold Thursday night. Such an unforeseeable beauty and memorable winner, a genuine sleeper, is Michael Healey’s “The Drawer Boy” at Redtwist Theatre. ★★★★

Role Playing: Brian Parry says he summoned courage before wit as George in ‘Virginia Woolf’

Oct 23, 2015 – 8:18 am
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Interview: In the thimble-size playing space of Redtwist Theatre, Brian Parry is reminded every night of the plain truth in playwright Edward Albee’s admonition to any actor who takes on the role of George, the battle-worn husband and semi-satisfied college professor in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” – that it will be the workout of a lifetime.

‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ at Redtwist: Friendly fire at close range, brutal and brilliant

Sep 14, 2015 – 9:07 pm
Virginia Woolf at Redtwist

Review: Seeing a play at tiny Redtwist Theatre, where a full house of 30 or 40 viewers often encircles the unfolding drama, can be an experience of in-your-face intensity. But the company’s electric burn through Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” takes intensity to a harrowing new place. ★★★★★

Theater 2015-16: Fearless Redtwist confronts ‘Virginia Woolf’ and takes on a world premiere

Aug 27, 2015 – 10:44 pm
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf 550

Fifth in a series of season previews: Seven seasons ago, Michael Colucci and Jan Ellen Graves, the married founders and still co-artistic directors of Redtwist Theatre, went at each other as George and Martha, the warring gamers in Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.” This season they hand over those rhetorical 8-ounce gloves to new sparring mates as Redtwist opens its 2015-16 series with another go at Albee’s dark comedy about love and marriage.

‘Good People’ at Redtwist: Down on her luck, Boston Southie seeks hope behind lace facade

Jul 3, 2015 – 5:32 pm
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Review: Margie’s life is hard, like the “g” in her name. It’s all she’s ever known. She grew up in the rough-and-tumble projects of Boston’s south side – a real “Southie.” She doesn’t have much, but at least she has a job; well, had a job. As we look in on Margie’s lot in David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Good People,” now staged with potent intimacy at Redtwist Theatre, she’s about to be fired. ★★★★

‘American Clock’ at Redtwist: There are songs but the key is bitter irony in this Depression tale

Apr 25, 2015 – 11:37 am
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Review: Arthur Miller’s plays consistently center on the vicissitudes of ordinary folks, with economic plight as a common theme. What might this avowed life-long liberal, who died in 2005, have written about America today? Actually, a plausible answer is before us, in Redtwist Theatre’s gritty, chilling production of Miller’s “The American Clock,” a cautionary retelling of the saga of the Great Depression. ★★★★

‘Red’ at Redtwist Theatre: As leonine Rothko roars, younger artist sees a changing canvas

Feb 13, 2015 – 7:51 am
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Review: ★★★★ There’s nothing simple about either life or the color red. Both exist only as seemingly infinite inflections of their root ideas. But black is another matter. If red bespeaks life in all its surging complexity, black is its absolute opposite, the absolute end. Or so declares the abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko in John Logan’s play “Red,” which roils and rages with irrepressible force at Redtwist Theatre. ★★★★

Theatre 2014-15: Rebirths and revisitations dot calendar as Redtwist opens with 9/11 premiere

Aug 31, 2014 – 11:11 pm
At World Trade Center ground zero, the bones lie below, but they resurface in the world premiere of 'Another Bone.' (Wikipedia)

11th in a series of season previews: Redtwist Theatre has dubbed its 2014-15 season “Rising From the Ashes,” and it begins literally with precious objects scooped from the debris of the catastrophe of 9/11 – in the world premiere of Cathy Earnest’s play “Another Bone.” In the aftermath of the Twin Towers attack, as human bones are sorted and identified through DNA testing, families receive these certified remembrances of their loved ones. The widowed Marie has been the recipient of many culled bones when a woman contacts her, claiming Marie has been getting the wrong bones, and that she must hand them over. What follows is a surreal and ghostly game at high psychological stakes.

Role Playing: Joseph Wiens starts at full throttle to convey alienation of ‘Look Back in Anger’

Jun 9, 2014 – 8:17 am
Actor Joseph Wiens portrays the frustrated, alienated Jimmy Porter in John Osborne's 'Look Back in Anger at Redtwist Theatre.

Interview: The first thing Joseph Wiens had to overcome in achieving his electric performance in John Osborne’s “Look Back in Anger” at Redtwist Theatre was the sheer volume of lines. Well, that and what he calls the “mishmash” of British accents. And of course the machine-gun speed at which Osborne’s teeming language had to be delivered – intelligibly.

‘Look Back in Anger’ at Redtwist: Bitterness nurtured as mode of life in post-war England

May 21, 2014 – 11:09 pm
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Review : Jimmy Porter is a bright but very angry young working-class Englishman who has grown to adulthood in the decade following the end of World War II. While he has married somewhat above his social grade, his life is going nowhere. In John Osborne’s searing 1956 play “Look Back in Anger,” Jimmy consecrates his sharp wit and tireless energy to a seething, circular rant. Jonathan Berry directs an electric production at Redtwist Theatre, where Joseph Wiens lends volcanic Jimmy all the brilliance and sadness of a man in existential warp, spiritually homeless in a world that has lost its meaning. ★★★★

‘Happy’ at Redtwist: Things are going so well, there must be plenty of reasons to be morose

Feb 20, 2014 – 6:28 pm
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Review: Happiness. Is it an authentic state of contentment, fulfillment, grace – or merely delusion, self-deception and denial? Playwright Robert Caisely pummels the question in “Happy,” an ironically titled session of group misery directed by Elly Green with stunning acerbity at Redtwist Theatre. ★★★

‘Clybourne Park’ at Redtwist: In a tight space, prejudice runs riot and hurt explodes in rage

Nov 22, 2013 – 3:15 pm
Michael Sherwin, Frank Pete and Kelly Owens in 'Clybourne Park' by Bruce Norris Redtwist Theatre 2013 (Kimberly Loughlin)

Review: There’s garden variety theatrical intimacy, and then there’s the astonishing, welcome-to-the-family tumult of Bruce Norris’ “Clybourne Park” in the living room space that is Redtwist Theatre. ★★★★★

Theater 2013-14: Redtwist bundles premieres and extends hand to young actors, directors

Sep 10, 2013 – 10:12 pm
'Clybourne Park' will receive its first Chicago storefront production at Redtwist Theatre in October 2013 (image courtesy of opheliasjump.org)

14th in a series of season previews: What Redtwist Theatre artistic director Michael Colucci calls “the storefront premiere” of Bruce Norris’ “Clybourne Park” and the world premiere of ensemble member Tommy Lee Johnston’s “Geezers” will bookend the company’s 2013-14 season. Redtwist also will embark on a two-fold expansion program designed to create new opportunities for directors and actors just out of theater school.

‘Body of Water’ at Redtwist: Life as a circular swim with no clue of current, bottom or bank

Mar 14, 2013 – 11:49 am
Brian Parry as Moss, Stella Martin as Wren, Jan Ellen Graves as Avis in A Body of Water by Lee Blessing at Redtwist 2013 credit Kimberly Loughlin

Review: ★★★

Role Playing: In wheelchair, Jacqueline Grandt explores paralysis of neglect in ‘Broken Glass’

Nov 13, 2012 – 6:25 pm
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Interview: Except when she crashes to the floor, Jacqueline Grandt spends the full length of Arthur Miller’s “Broken Glass” at Redtwist Theatre in a wheelchair or resting in bed. Yet every night, Grandt says, she leaves the theater physically exhausted.

Deep cuts leave souls bleeding in Redtwist’s close perspective on Miller’s ‘Broken Glass’

Oct 25, 2012 – 11:15 am
Broken Glass alts by Arthur Miller at Redtwist Theatre Chicago 2012 credit Jan Ellen Graves

Review:★★★

The New Season: Once again, Redtwist will assemble shards of Miller’s ‘Broken Glass’

Oct 11, 2012 – 4:56 pm
Playwright Arthur Miller

17th in a series of season previews: Redtwist Theatre’s founding artistic director Michael Colucci hopes the third time will be the charm as he attempts once again to find a Chicago audience for Arthur Miller’s “Broken Glass” – the launch piece for a 2012-13 season that also spotlights the Chicago premieres of Lee Blessing’s “Body of Water” and Leslye Headland’s “Reverb.”

Role Playing: Baize Buzan hones the steel spirit of a brash Irish lass in ‘Cripple of Inishmaan’

Jun 26, 2012 – 11:29 pm
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Interview: Baize Buzan knew she had the right slant on the feisty, egg-smashing Helen in Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy “The Cripple of Inishmaan” when she heard, distinctly from the audience at tiny Redtwist Theatre: “That awful girl is here again.”