Tag: Aaron Henrickson

Review: Sandalwood (Tympanic Theatre & The Side Project)

Scott Stockwell stars in the world premiere of "Sandalwood" by Dan Caffrey, directed by Aaron henrickson, and presented by Tympanic Theatre and The Side Project Theatre.

       
      
Sandalwood

Written by Dan Caffrey  
Directed by Aaron Henrickson
at Side Project Theatre, 1439 W. Jarvis (map)
thru April 20  |  tickets: $15-$20   |  more info
       
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April 7, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: Inventing Van Gogh (Strange Bedfellows Theatre)

Riley McIlveen stars as Vincent van Gogh in Strange Bedfellows Theatre's "Inventing Van Gogh" by Steven Dietz, directed by Aaron Henrickson.        
       
Inventing Van Gogh 

Written by Steven Dietz
Directed by Aaron Henrickson
at City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr (map)
thru Aug 25   |  tickets: $20   |  more info
       
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August 8, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: Purple Heart (Redtwist Theatre)

KC Karen Hill, Nicky Roget-King and Clay Sanderson star in Redtwist Theatre's "Purple Heart" by Bruce Norris, directed by Jimmy McDermott. (photo credit: Jan Ellen Graves)        
      
Purple Heart

Written by Bruce Norris
Directed by Jimmy McDermott
Redtwist Theatre, 1044 W. Bryn Mawr (map)
thru Jan 27  |  tickets: $25-$30   |  more info
       
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December 28, 2012 | 1 Comment More

Review: Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy (New Suit Theatre)

Sizzle - A Global Warming Comedy, New Suit Theatre       
      
Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy

Adapted by Jason Burkett and Sara Gmitter 
Directed by Aaron Henrickson
Raven Theatre West Stage, 6157 N. Clark (map)
thru Nov 13  |  tickets: $20   |  more info

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October 31, 2011 | 0 Comments More

REVIEW: 2,000 Feet Away (Steep Theatre)

Sex offender drama criticizes but struggles to connect

 

2000-feet-away-poster

 
Steep Theatre presents
 
2,000 Feet Away
 
Written by Anthony Weigh
Directed by
Jimmy McDermott
at
Steep Theatre, 1115 W. Berwyn (map)
through June 26th | tickets: $20-$22  |  more info

reviewed by Oliver Sava

Anthony Weigh’s 2,000 Feet Away isn’t your ordinary pedophile play; this time, the criminals are the victims. In the town of Eldon, Iowa, fear and paranoia drive citizens to terrorizing local sex offenders, and state legislation requires the criminals to stay 2,000 feet away from schools, parks, libraries, and bus stops. Sex offenders are forced out of their homes and into repulsive motels barely good enough for arson.  The play’s only erotic encounter between an adult and child shows the youth as more of an instigator 2000-feet-02than a victim, and an 18 year old boy is exiled for having sex with his girlfriend. Weigh has bold ideas regarding sexual crime in America, but never quite develops a solid plot and characters for his ideas to manifest through.

Weigh’s Eldon doesn’t feel like a real town but rather a collection of convenient personalities to assign philosophies to. His witch-hunting Iowans bare little resemblance to our libertarian-leaning western neighbors, and don’t have much personality beyond their one-dimensional stances on the issue of sexual crime. Why Eldon is packed to the gills with pedophiles is never explained, and makes the location seem like a cheap way to connect the play to Grant Wood’s “American Gothic,” an image that appears throughout the production.

There is an obvious sentimental attachment Weigh has to Wood’s painting, but its prevalence in the play is never made quite clear. Does the stern-faced patriarch represent of the citizens of Eldon, protecting their children from predators as he protects his gothic barn? Perhaps the pair are the ghosts of an America that doesn’t exist anymore, where hard work and obedience have been replaced by sexual deviance and social injustice? Its purpose is unclear, and does little to advance the plot.

/Users/hdleemiller/Pictures/Capture One Library/Output/.IMG_6917.tif After a creepy opening scene between adult A.G. (Benjamin Sprunger) and preteen Boy (Alex Turner), 2,000 Feet Away falls into a pattern of scenes where the citizens of Eldon express their personal feelings about sex crimes to their Deputy (Brendan Melanson), scenes that suffer by telling us the character’s emotions rather than showing them through meaningful interactions. The pace during these opening scenes drags due to a lack of forward motion, but Melanson’s portrayal of a lovable loser corrupted by the world around him is a highlight of the production. When Deputy encounters Girl, the SVU tween (deceptively mature Grace Goble), the play gathers steam and the plot finally gets rolling. As Deputy looks for a home for the displaced A.G., their relationship becomes the emotional center of the play, and the actors share good chemistry on stage.

Director Jimmy McDermott does a fine job with the material at hand, but the flaws of the script hurt the momentum too severely to fully recover. The ensemble works to build relationships where Weigh’s script struggles to connect, but the pace of the piece ultimately proves its undoing.

  
  
Rating: ★★½
 
 

 

 

May 24, 2010 | 0 Comments More