Tag: Karen Kessler

Review: Alias Grace (Rivendell Theatre)

Ashley Neal and Steve Haggard star as Grace Marks and Simon Jordan in Alias Grace, Rivendell Theatre            
      

  

Alias Grace

Adapted by Jennifer Blackmer
  from novel by Margaret Atwood
Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge (map)
thru Nov 4  |  tix: $38  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets    
     

September 26, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Nether (A Red Orchid Theatre)

Maya Hlava and Guy Van Swearingen star in The Nether at A Red Orchid Theatre           
      
 

The Nether

Written by Jennifer Haley
A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells (map)
thru March 12  |  tix: $30-$35  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets
     

February 19, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: Solstice (A Red Orchid Theatre)

Kirsten Fitzgerald and Meighan Gerachis star in A Red Orchid Theatre's "Solstice" by Zinnie Harris, directed by Karen Kessler. (photo credit: Michael Brosilow)        
      
Solstice

Written by Zinnie Harris
Directed by Karen Kessler
A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells (map)
thru Date  |  tickets: $25-$30   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review
     

January 19, 2014 | 2 Comments More

Review: The Opponent (A Red Orchid Theatre)

Kamal Angelo Bolden and Guy Van Swearingen star in A Red Orchid Theatre's "The Opponent" by Brett Neveu, directed by Karen Kessler. (photo credit: Michael Brosilow)        
       
The Opponent 

Written by Brett Neveu  
Directed by Karen Kessler
A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells (map)
thru Dec 2 Dec 15  |  tixckets: $25-$30   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

October 25, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: WRENS (Rivendell Theatre)

Mary Cross and Ashley Neal star in Rivendell Theatre's "WRENS" by Anne McGravie, directed by Karen Kessler (photo credit: Michael Brosilow)       
      
WRENS 

Written by Anne McGravie  
Directed by Karen Kessler
at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge (map)
thru Oct 13  |  tickets: $30   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

September 11, 2012 | 1 Comment More

Review: A Number (Backstage Theatre)

Patrick Blashill and Tony Bozzuto in a scene from Backstage Theatre's "A Number" by Caryl Churchill, directed by Karen Kessler.       
      
A Number 

Written by Caryl Churchill
Directed by Karen Kessler
The Building Stage, 412 N. Carpenter (map)
thru Feb 11  |  tickets: $25   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

January 25, 2012 | 0 Comments More

REVIEW: Louis Slotin Sonata (A Red Orchid Theatre)

Turning quantum physics into an educational sonata

louis slotin sonata poster louis slotin sonata poster - flip

 

A Red Orchid Theatre presents
   
Louis Slotin Sonata
  
Written by Paul Mullin
Directed by
Karen Kessler
A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells (map)
through October 24th  |  tickets: $25-$30  |  more info

Reviewed by Katy Walsh

‘Tickling the dragon’s tale’ sounds like a fairytale requirement for rescuing the princess. It is not so enchanting! In fact, it’s the testing procedures for a plutonium bomb. A Red Orchid Theatre presents Louis Slotin Sonata, based on the death and times of a historical figure. In 1946, Dr. Louis Slotin has plans. Goodbye bombs! Hello biology! Louie’s bags are packed to leave the military zone and go university academic. Before his departure, he decides to give the dragon one more tickle. louis slotin sonata poster During the routine, Louis’ hand slips and the dragon bites. Everyone in the room is exposed to radiation. Louis Slotin Sonata focuses on the final nine days of a scientist. In a morphine induced haze, Louie tries to piece together his incident, existence and death. His Hebrew lessons and Nazi war criminal memories jumble producing hallucinatory action adventure and a choreographed Nagasaki shuffle. Louis Slotin Sonata is a concerto of science and religion with an underlying comedic rhythm.

Director Karen Kessler orchestrates a swift movement between the surreal and real. Louis’ final days are recollections of the past, present and future. His current state is spliced with future monologues from medical and military personnel reviewing the facts and delirious visits with historical figures. Steve Schine (Louis) portrays the scientist with apologetic arrogance. Former rogue and brilliant bomb maker, Schine transforms in humble vulnerability to a science geek fearful of being remembered for a blunder. The outstanding ensemble plays multiple roles with distinction. Guy Massey displays impressive range from soft-spoken scientist to abrupt military man to evangelizing religious fanatic. William Norris gives a heart-wrenching performance as a Jewish father losing his son to science. Anita Deely is the kind-hearted nurse struggling with anger over the avoidable tragedy. Adding to the laughs, Duncan Riddell haunts, Doug Vickers bumbles, Christopher Walsh deadpans, and Walter Briggs aka ‘Death’ calculates.

The entire ensemble shines around Schine in this dark comedy.

Louis Slotin wanted to fade into obscurity instead of being remembered for ‘dropping the big one’ or more accurately ‘poking the small one’. Playwright Paul Mullin has preserved Dr. Slotin in a playful but educational sonata. The show is an entertaining lesson in science, history and religion. The heavy-duty science instruction made me realize I would have done better in physics if my teacher had been one of the Louis Slotin Sonata ensemble.

  
  
Rating: ★★★
   
   

SHOW WARNING: I am cursed with A Red Orchid Theatre bad seat karma. In this production, there is only ONE seat obstructed with regularity. I sat in it! Don’t make my mistake! The theatre is split into three sections. In between, the left and middle section, don’t pick the sole seat on the second row without a chair in front of it. Kessler has chosen to place an actor’s back to the audience directly in front of that seat… in many scenes. The choice effectively blocks the action from view. On the positive side, if there was a real bomb, I would have been shielded from radiation exposure.

Running Time: Two hours includes a ten minute intermission

September 14, 2010 | 0 Comments More