Monday, March 12, 2012

REVIEW: RED at Arena Stage

On Friday night I went to see RED at Arena Stage in Washington, DC. All I can say is WOW! I have loved RED since the first time I read the script last year (I've even performed a scene from it in an acting class) and I am so glad I finally got the opportunity to see a fully staged production.

The first thing I noticed when I entered was the set. It was an AMAZING set that really made you felt like you were in Rothko's studio. The set went floor to ceiling with an amazing canvas up-center that changed throughout the show to hold different murals from Rothko's Seagram series.

Ed Gero was superb in making audiences really feel ROTHKO. He played him in a pompous, powerful way, but in a way that audiences could still really feel for him and were less worried about his pretentiousness and really cared for him as a character.

Patrick Abrams, who played Rothko's assistant Ken, was good, but I felt he sort of was suffocated under Gero's performance. He was good but I felt like he left a lot of Ken to be desired and I think he was not as multi-dimensional as I would have liked. He did a good job in this difficult role, and he definitely didn't detract from this amazing performance.

Technically, the lighting really accentuated the colors in the scenery and really added to the performance. It made the reds in the paintings pop in a way I didn't know possible.

The sound on the other hand, was good, but way too loud for this small theatre and completely drowned out the speaking.

Overall, putting the faults aside, I loved this production and was so glad I got to see it! I forsee another Helen Hayes award in Gero's future.

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