Tuesday August 22nd 2017

“Opus”

Redtwist Theatre, that little “black box” that brings “white hot drama” with their little “red twist” has done it again! Their current production, “Opus” by Michael Hollinger, is 83 minutes of brilliance in theater. This is a story of a world famous string quartet and the personalities of its members. Despite their remarkable music, the four members, each a solid musician, have  distinct personalities an din many cases, differ from the others. In this story, one of the musicians, Dorian ( deftly handled by Paul Dunckel), probably the best musician, is ousetd from the group by his lover, Elliot (  a powerful performance by Michael Sherwin) and is replaced by a young female, Grace ( Emily Tate), fresh out of school, but loaded with talent. The other members of this quartet, Alan ( boldly played by John Ferrick) and Carl ( the always solid Brian Perry) are happy with the new arrangement- or are they?

This production is beautifully orchestrated by director Jason W. Gerace, who utilizes the very small stage so that each audience member feels as if they are the proverbial “fly on the wall” watching  the personalities of these characters come alive and fall apart before their very eyes.. Unlike most productions where the sound engineer adds to the totality of the production, Christopher Kriz is an integral part of making this production lifelike as it appears that each of the actors is making the music that we hear a very realistic part of the entire production. The evolution of the characters, their lives and their choices is what makes the characters real and the story-line one that keeps you interested and involved for the entire 82 minutes. Zhanna Bullock, the music coach, taught these actors how to make the playing of their instruments very realistic and I would have to call this show one of the best “choreographed” non-musical, non-dance shows of the season.

In this very small theater, with only about 48 seats, we the audience get to see magic on stage with a score that is riveting and a story that takes us on a journey into the lives of these five characters that deals with love, sex, talent, cancer, success,triumph and failure.Although not billed as such, there are many very comical moments in this production and a very gripping climax that will shcock you while also making you feel that justice was served. While this production is scheduled to run through January 15th, I can see a potential for an extension as they only do  four performances per week and with the holidays (no performance on Christmas Eve/day and New Year’s Day). If they can add some more it would be great for the great Chicago theater audiences who would be greatly inspired and entertained by this theatrical masterpiece at Red Twist Theatre located at 1044 West Bryn Mawr ( just a block east of the Red-Line station at Bryn Mawr). Performances are on Thursdays,Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.

Tickets for this sparkling production are only $25-$30 ( seniors and studnets save $5) and can be ordered by calling  773-728-7529 or by e-mail at michael@redtiwst.org  You can also reserve at www.redtwist.org

Parking is a bit of a problem but there is metered/paybox until 9 p.m. in the area. I suggest using the CTA as it is very near and there are some wonderful restaurants on Bryn Mawr.

 

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