Recommended*** There are those who say “revenge is sweet”. In Remy Bumppo’s current production, August Strindberg’s Dark tale of a vicious love triangle, “Creditors”, we have 90 minutes of woven action between a man and his wife, as well as a past husband of the same woman. In this new version adapted/translated by David Greig, the story adds a bit more humor, but the mystery that Strindberg wove in his original still plays well. Directed by Sandy Shinner on a wonderful set designed by Jeffrey Bauer, one can see that as always, Remy Bumppo pays close attention to detail. In the the upstairs “studio” theater at The Greenhouse, the have reconstructed the stage area so that every seat is perfect for seeing all the action on the stage. It is important for you to understand that the title, “Creditors” can be a bit misleading. Most of us would think it is about money, but in this story , it is about people collecting what is due to them, or what they feel is due. In other words, their “just deserts!
The play begins with two men in what might be termed a sitting room of a hotel. One man, Adolph ( finely played by Gabriel Ruiz) is on crutches, an artist who resides in this hotel with his wife. The other man, Gustav (Mark L. Montgomery) is speaking with him about his life, his works and his inner feelings. They do not know each other, but Adolph opens up his heart and soul to this stranger. The majority of the discussion is about his wife and his jealousy over the way she flirts. Since there are some twists and turns in the story, I will not give them away, but Gustav appears to convince Adolph that he may have epilepsy and the only way to cure himself is to avaoid sex with his wife. Adolph asks Gustav to hide in the other room when his wife arrives to make sure that what he is doing is correct.
When his wife, Tekla ( the adorable, sexy and playful Linda Gillum) arrives, they go at it! They discuss their sexuality, her flirting, their love for each other and Adolph’s obsession over her former husband and the life they led. The scene is one of arguing and kissing, of positive thoughts as well as negative. Adolph wants to leave the area, while Tekla desires to stay . It turns out that there is much known about her prior husband as she wrote a novel about her life with him. Adolph feels that while each has taken care of the other, they owe each other for the life they have. In other words, each is the others “Creditor”. It is his plan to change his life and art and to leave this resort that night.
At this point, Adolph leaves for a stroll and Gustav appears. There is a strong scene between these two and secrets and pasts open up that will make it very clear as to why “revenge is sweet”. This is a strong production filled with lots of turns making it a true psychological drama, yet in this adaptation, there are some sprinkles of humor mixed in. As previously stated, Remy Bummpo pays close attention to detail and it shows not only in the set, but in the perfect lighting (Charles Cooper), the perfect props( Julie Allen), the sound and music (Christopher Kriz) and the period costumes (Jeremy W. Floyd). Working on a small stage in an intimate space is not a hardship for this production as Shimer uses each part of the stage to the best advantage and the intimacy makes the story that much more powerful.
“Creditors” will continue at The Greenhouse Theater Center located at 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue through June 2nd with performances as follows:
Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.
Sundays at 2:30 p.m.
Additional Matinees at 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 16th
Saturday May 11th
Tickets range from $32.50 to $47.50
Students $15 all performances except the “between the lines” and are available by calling the box offcie at 773-404-7336, by stopping by or online at www.remybumppo.org
Parking is available at the old Children’s memorial Hospital garage, 12 block North of the theater (free) on a first come first served basis. (There is also street parking some metered, some not)
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-up and click at “Creditors”