Category: Red Tape Theatre

Review: hamlet is dead. no gravity (Red Tape Theatre)

Alex Stage stars as Mani in Red Tape Theatre's "hamlet is dead. no gravity" by Ewald Palmetshofer, directed by Seth Bockley. (photo credit: Austin D. Oie)        
      
hamlet is dead.
    no gravity

Written by Ewald Palmetshofer
Translated by Neil Blackadder
Directed by Seth Bockley  
at Red Tape Theatre, 621 W. Belmont (map)
thru Feb 22  |  tickets: $25   |  more info
       
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February 6, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Life and Death of Madam Barker (Red Tape Theatre)

Molly Brennan stars in Red Tape Theatre's "The Life and Death of Madam Barker" by Brooke Allen, music and lyrics by John Fournier, directed by Eric Hoff. (photo by Bridget Schultz)        
       
The Life and Death
          of Madam Barker
 

Written by Brooke Allen
Music and Lyrics by John Fournier 
Directed by Eric Hoff
at Red Tape Theatre, 621 W. Belmont (map)
thru Nov 10  |  tickets: $25   |  more info
       
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October 19, 2013 | 1 Comment More

Review: Lear (Red Tape Theatre)

Meghan Reardon and Amanda Drinkall in Red Tape Theatre's "Lear" by Young Jean Lee, directed by James Palmer. (photo credit: Austin D. Oie)        
       
Lear 

Written by Young Jean Lee 
Directed by James D. Palmer
St. Peter’s Church, 621 W. Belmont (map)
thru June 22  |  tickets: $25   |  more info
       
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May 16, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: Stadium Devildare (Red Tape Theatre)

Red Tape Theatre's "Stadium Devildare" by Ruth Margraff, directed by Karen Yates.        
       
Stadium Devildare 

Written by Ruth Margraff
Directed by Karen Yates
at Red Tape Theatre, 621 W. Belmont (map)
thru Feb 23  |  tickets: $15-$25   |  more info
       
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January 24, 2013 | 2 Comments More

Review: The Skriker (Red Tape Theatre)

Amanda Drinkall and Carrie Drapac star in Red Tape Theatre's "The Skriker" by Caryl Churchill, directed by Eric Hoff. (photo credit: Austin D. Oie)        
       
The Skriker 

Written by Caryl Churchill
Directed by Eric Hoff
at Red Tape Theatre, 621 W. Belmont (map)
thru Oct 20  |  tickets: $15-$25   |  more info
       
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September 25, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: Elephant’s Graveyard (Red Tape Theatre)

Red Tape Theatre presents "Elephant's Graveyard" by George Brant, and directed by James Palmer.       
      
Elephant’s Graveyard 

Written by George Brant
Directed by James Palmer
Red Tape Theatre, 621 W. Belmont (map)
thru June 16   |   tickets: $5-$30    |   more info
       
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May 17, 2012 | 2 Comments More

Review: The Xylophone West (The Fine Print Theatre)

Donnie Sheldon and cast in a scene from Fine Print Theatre's "The Xylophone West", by Alex Lubischer. (photo credit: Gretchen Kelley)       
      
The Xylophone West 

Written by Alex Lubischer  
Directed by Josh Sobel
at Red Tape Theatre, 621 W. Belmont (map)
thru April 4  |  tickets: $20-$25   |  more info
       
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March 17, 2012 | 1 Comment More

Review: The Gingerbread House (Red Tape Theatre)

Redtape Theatre presents "The Gingerbread House", by Mark Schultz, directed by James Palmer. (photo credit: Austin D Oie)

      
      
The Gingerbread House

Written by Mark Schultz
Directed by James Palmer
at Red Tape Theatre, 621 W. Belmont (map)
thru March 3  |  tickets: $15-$30   |  more info
       
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February 11, 2012 | 1 Comment More

Review: Brand (Red Tape Theatre)

     
Publicity Pic 3 BRAND - Amanda Reader
Brand
 

Written by Henrik Ibsen  
Directed by Max Truax 
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 621 Belmont (map)
thru Oct 29  |  tickets: $25  |  more info

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October 4, 2011 | 1 Comment More

Review: Macbeth (Goat Song Theatre)

     
Macbeth - Goat Song Theatre
Macbeth
 

Written by William Shakespeare 
Directed by Brian Conley
at Red Tape Theatre, 621 W. Belmont (map)
thru July 31  |  tickets: $20  |  more info

Check for half-price tickets 
    
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July 29, 2011 | 1 Comment More

2011 Non-Equity Jeff Award Winners!

Jeff Awards Chicago header

2011 Non-Equity Jeff Award Recipients

Monday, June 6th 2011

32 different companies were recognized going into the 2011 non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Awards. The Hypocrites, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre and Lifeline Theatre had the most nominations. Redtwist Theatre was close behind while scoring 3 out of the 6 Best Play Production nominations. The non-equity Jeff Awards got off to a bang at the Park West Monday night with a lively Red Carpet show broadcast online prior (pictures), hosted by Eric Roach and Anderson Lawfer. The awards show was hosted by Kevin Bellie of Circle Theatre. It kicked off with a musical number from Theo Ubique’s Cats. After the parade of nominees, and a Lady Gaga bit performed by Bellie, the awards were doled out. The awards did not go off without a hitch, as the Best Director of a Musical was at first awkwardly announced incorrectly. Here’s how everything played out:


2011 NON-EQUITY JEFF AWARD RECIPIENTS

PRODUCTION / PLAY

Man from Nebraska Redtwist Theatre 

PRODUCTION / MUSICAL

Cabaret – The Hypocrites

DIRECTOR / PLAY

Jimmy McDermott (Three Faces of Doctor Crippen, The Strange Tree Group)
James Palmer (The Love of the Nightingale, Red Tape Theatre

DIRECTOR / MUSICAL

Matt Hawkins (Cabaret, The Hypocrites)
Brenda Didier (Cats, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre)

ENSEMBLE

Shakespeare’s King Phycus, The Strange Tree Group w/ Lord Chamberlain’s Men

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE / PLAY

Chuck Spencer in Man from Nebraska, Redtwist Theatre

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE / MUSICAL

Andrew Mueller in Big River, Bohemian Theatre Ensemble

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE / PLAY

Caroline Neff in Helen of Troy, Steep Theatre Company
Nicole Wiesner in First Ladies, Trap Door Theatre

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE / MUSICAL

Jessie Fisher in Cabaret, The Hypocrites

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE / PLAY

Brian Perry in Shining City, Redtwist Theatre

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE / MUSICAL

Courtney Crouse in Big River, Bohemian Theatre Ensemble

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTNG ROLE / PLAY

Sara Pavlak in Agnes of God, Hubris Productions

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE / MUSICAL OR REVUE

Kate Harris in Cabaret, The Hypocrites

NEW WORK

Emily Schwartz for The Three Faces of Doctor Crippen, The Strange Tree Group

NEW ADAPTATION

Robert Kauzlaric for Neverwhere, Lifeline Theatre

CHOREOGRAPHY

Brenda Didier for Cats, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

ORIGINAL INCIDENTAL MUSIC

Chris Gingrich, Henry Riggs, Thea Lux, and Tara Sissom - That Sordid Little Story,  The New Colony

MUSIC DIRECTION

Austin Cook for Some Enchanted Evening: The Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

SCENIC DESIGN

Alan Donahue for Neverwhere, Lifeline Theatre

LIGHTING DESIGN

Jared Moore for No Exit, The Hypocrites

COSTUME DESIGN

Matt Guthier for Cats, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Alison Siple for Cabaret, The Hypocrites

SOUND DESIGN

Mikhail Fiksel for Neverwhere, Lifeline Theatre

ARTISTIC SPECIALIZATION

Glen Aduikas, Rick Buesing, Mike Fletcher, Salvador Garcia, Stuart Hecht, David Hyman, Terry Jackson, Don Kerste, Bruce Phillips, Al Schilling, Lisi Stoessel, Eddy Wright - Robot design and engineering for Heddatron, Sideshow Theatre Company

Izumi Inaba: Makeup Design for Cats, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

  
  
June 7, 2011 | 1 Comment More

Review: Tragedy: a tragedy (Red Tape Theatre)

     
     

Tragedy: a new theatrical experience

     
     

Paul Miller and Paige Sawin in Red Tape Theatre’s TRAGEDY: A TRAGEDY May 5 to June 4 (Photo by James Palmer)

  
Red Tape Theatre presents
   
   
Tragedy: a tragedy
  
  
Written by Will Eno
Directed by Jeremy Wechsler
at Red Tape Theatre, 621 W. Belmont (map)
through June 5  |  tickets: $25  |  more info

Reviewed by Barry Eitel 

Hot shot playwright Will Eno’s Tragedy: a tragedy parodies the modern, multitasking, up-to-the-minute human condition, yet eulogizes it at the same time. Clocking in at an hour and 15 minutes, it’s less of a drama and more of a loose curio cabinet of themes. The world has been thrown into eternal darkness, and a crack news team does their darndest to fill the continuing coverage. They offer conjectures, anecdotes from their own lives, and wild speculation. Mostly they report about how there is nothing to report.

The first thing you’ll notice upon walking into the Red Tape space is that the audience seating is as built up as the actual set. I snagged a loveseat, but one could also crowd around a card table or sit on a wood bench. Set designer Emily Guthrie puts you in a TV watching environment, whether that’s your living room, kitchen, or local bar. We’re watching what could be the last broadcast ever. An anchorman (Lawrence Garner), three reporters (Steve O’Connell, Paige Sawin, and Mike Tepeli), and some guy on the street (Paul Miller) try to explain the unexplainable. The sun turned off. People are fleeing their homes. The governor is no where to be found. Emotions fling between fear, anger, desperation, and sluggish nihilism. But stories must be broken. Right?

Obviously, Eno’s world is off-kilter. His style fluctuates between wacky, darkly hilarious, and deeply lyrical. Jeremy Wechsler, who has directed much of Eno’s canon, leads the production for Red Tape. It definitely has its flaws, but Wechsler’s show digs deep into your psyche. It won’t shatter your worldview, but it’ll have your brain slowly churning for days afterward.

Paige Sawin in Red Tape Theatre’s TRAGEDY: A TRAGEDY May 5 to June 4 (Photo by James Palmer)

Along with Tragedy, Eno’s Middletown is coming to Chicago soon, with a production by Steppenwolf on the horizon. Eno is an interesting creature on today’s theatre scene. His stuff harks back to mid-century absurdism, but isn’t suffocated by cynicism. Tragedy is remarkably fresh. He obviously isn’t out to shock or disgust. He’s quietly philosophical, having his pseudo-characters ponder metaphysics and existentialism. It’s a thoughtful, free-form route, one which many young playwrights today seem to be traveling. Perhaps it will be the hallmark of American theatre in the 2000s.

That depends on, of course, if audiences can stay awake. Tragedy is a strangely paced play, one that demands moments of both rapid fire dialogue and complete stillness. Wechsler’s production can’t quite get the balance right. Some of the pregnant pauses are hysterical pregnancies. There’s something to be said for extended moments of silence, but the Red Tape production doesn’t earn them. Harold Pinter could write pauses in his plays like a composer writes rests in his score; Eno is still finding his bearings.

The cast does a remarkable job with the bizarre material. Garner’s Frank, trapped in a studio raised above the action, keeps going until the very end with raised eyebrows and a concerned deep voice. By the final moments, he’s a dispossessed god in a world out of control. Tepeli and O’Connell navigate Eno’s humor well, and Sawin gives a haunting turn as Constance. Miller spends 95% of the show standing around and 5% dropping truths, but he does it with warmth and commitment.

I do wish the actual set was as meticulously plotted as the audience. Frank’s box looks downright chintzy.

The play is a product of the ‘90s, and I wonder how the internet would rock this world. But that’s just one of a miasma of questions this play raises. Most importantly (or maybe least importantly), is there any reason to believe the sun won’t rise again?

  
  
Rating: ★★★
  
  

  
  
May 13, 2011 | 1 Comment More