Redtwist Theatre Presents ANTIGONE Review — Classic, with A+ Acting

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Kreon (played by Brian Parry) quakes with barely contained rage. His orders were not only disregarded but done so by a lowly female. He stands on what seems to be a pedestal, which before the play’s opening, was scrubbed meticulously by various ensemble members in character and rotation—something you will likely remember all the more in the final bloodbath scene, as this writer did.

“I will not be bested by a woman!” he snarls, in such a way that fellow modern day audience members might also be poised to hear his follow up on how she is bleeding from her wherever.  Whether it was Sophocles’ pen, an added emphasis in the new translation by Anne Carson, put into focus by director Christine Freije, or just an injection of excellence that Redtwist regulars have come to expect from Parry, the misogynist lens on the classic is clear.

He speaks of Antigone (played by Isabel Alamin) who is hell-bent to bury her brother, according to the rules of the Gods, and King Kreon be damned.  She is on fire with passion—and could be Joan of Arc, Emma Goldman or Greta Thunberg—with a bravery born in that place where nothing to lose and everything to lose are the same.  You too might find yourself scrambling to your program to read up on Alamin, whose magnetism is apparent, albeit in a one-dimensional character.  She is any ideologue who brooks no gray in a world of black and white right and wrong—from antiquity to NOW.

In another time we know a judge could likely get Antigone’s death sentence lessoned given the family of hard rocks she and her siblings came from, viz. when your mother and grandmother are same-same, and your father is Oedipus who blinded himself rather than lookat you. No wonder she has a complex, if not her father’s most famed one!

Redtwist Theatre Showcases A+ Acting

Parry and Alamin are accompanied by a fine ensemble, in this writer’s view.  There is not a line delivered that doesn’t seem to be carefully considered by this most able cast. If you, like this writer, are interested in the classics in general or this Sophocles cultural pillar in specific, this production re-enacts the story with ample acting prowess. That said, this is a production that doesn’t seem to take on the challenge of bringing in a wider audience. If you love to see classic plays on stage this should be your top pick.  Pampered audience members who rely on gestural and physical theater injections to bring such stories alive on stage should likely take a pass.

SOMEWHAT RECOMMENDED

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CAST:

Isabel Alamin (Antigone)
Natalie Welber (Ismene)
Brian Parry (Kreon)
Nick Shank (Haimon)
Joan Nahid (Eurydike/Chorus)
Javier Carmona (Teiresias/Chorus)
Peter Ferneding (Guard/Boy/Chorus)
Sarah Sapperstein (Messenger/Chorus)
Andrew Bosworth (Chorus Leader)

CREATIVE TEAM:

Christine Freije (Director)
Dusty Brown (Production Manager)
Eric Luchen (Scenic Designer)
Solomon Weisbard (Lighting + Sound Designer)
Anna Bodell (Costume Designer)
Jeff Brain (Props Designer)
Mike McShane (Assistant Lighting + Sound Designer)
Moises Diaz (Assistant Props Designer)
Alanna Young (Stage Manager)
Chas Mathieu (Technical Director)
Anna Petersen (Scenic Charge)
Hannah Blau (Assistant Director)
Lauren Grace Thompson (Resident Production Manager)
Shariba Rivers (Casting Director)
Jose Jimenez (Graphic Designer)

WHEN:

Thru July 31, 2022

Sundays - 3pm
Thursdays - 7:30pm
Fridays - 7:30pm
Saturdays - 7:30pm

WHERE:

Redtwist Theatre
1044 W Bryn Mawr
Chicago IL, 60660

TICKETS:

$15+

For more information and tickets visit the Redtwist Theatre website.

Photos by Willow James

Note: Picture This Post reviews are excerpted by Theatre in Chicago.

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Amy Munice

About the Author: Amy Munice

Amy Munice is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Publisher of Picture This Post. She covers books, dance, film, theater, music, museums and travel. Prior to founding Picture This Post, Amy was a freelance writer and global PR specialist for decades—writing and ghostwriting thousands of articles and promotional communications on a wide range of technical and not-so-technical topics.

Amy hopes the magazine’s click-a-picture-to-read-a-vivid-account format will nourish those ever hunting for under-discovered cultural treasures. She especially loves writing articles about travel finds, showcasing works by cultural warriors of a progressive bent, and shining a light on bold, creative strokes by fledgling artists in all genres.

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3 thoughts on “Redtwist Theatre Presents ANTIGONE Review — Classic, with A+ Acting

  1. As overall positive as this review seems to be, it’s judgment of “Somewhat Recommended” seems to hinge on the assessment that “this is a production that doesn’t seem to take on the challenge of bringing in a wider audience.” I would greatly appreciate a description of what the reviewer would expect that to look like.

    1. Hi Brian– Amy here– and thanks again for all your fantastic performances. I put in two links to an Oedipus play I had reviewed last year at APT. Here it is again– https://www.picturethispost.com/american-players-theatre-presents-oedipus-review/. One of the leads in that play btw is now in a major role at Steppenwolf’s CHOIR BOY. But let me backtrack– at first (2017) when we launched Picture This Post I rebelled against the idea of a ranking because the question is always– Recommended for whom? At first we only obliged THEATER IN CHICAGO so we could be included in their roundups. Then- as editor– I noticed that our writers had a much easier time if/when they had to rank it. So– what do I know? We started ranking. We define our ranking as follows– HIGHLY means “change your schedule-you gotta see this!”, Recommended means something like “If you are looking for a good use of your time this would be a very good pick for most people”. and Somewhat means (in Picture This Post framework)– this is a top pick for a niche audience. So– I went with two people and neither were very thrilled. I would love to send you our writers’ guidelines/send me your email… Our writers are not really encouraged to make the story about their critique — but rather keep the focus on VIVID description of the experience. (Of course their opinions gotta grow from a POV– we know..) There is ONE exception– we ask that writers be matchmakers and have a strong opinion of WHO WOULD LOVE /LIKE etc this play. Also btw– when a play is Somewhat Recommended we tend to break our self-imposed rules. EG ordinarily it is forbidden to compare a work to another work– as I did here more generally– but rather keep the spotlight on the work being described. So if my break of our rules led to an OUCH on your part please accept my apologies. Frost/Nixon, Death of Salesman – WOW- I count myself as one of your (unknown perhaps but nonetheless) number one fans!! If you want to read our guidelines etc please write to me at editor@picturethispost.com. We have to rewrite our writers’ guidelines btw– they are in their umpteenth iteration, ever in rewrite. PICTURE THIS is a double meaning– we are chock full of images but we also try to write in a way where every story could begin with “Picture this…” but we don’t start that way cuz that is dept of redundancy dept. (Long story- it is a very conscious consideration of gonzo/new journalism and empowering readers to make up their own minds if X is their cup of tea.)Here’s another review I just remembered editing– https://www.picturethispost.com/classical-theater-of-harlem-presents-the-bacchae-review-pelvis-rocking-dionysus/. Oh my- these are huge stages and personally I always find part of the Redtwist charm to be the innovative use of your such improbable space. Many (most?) of our theater writers are playwrights, directors, actors, drama minors in college etc… I’m the exception, a “mere mortal”I like to say, perhaps with a strong antenna for what people not in theater insider world think. Alas, I’ve moved to North Carolina and personally won’t be able to catch Redtwist for a spell– until I return ravenous again for great Chicago Theater! Thanks for ALL you do.. Amy Munice 773 862 6800

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