Red Twist, the hottest theater in town, has done it again with The Pillowman, a play by the late Martin McDonagh. McDonagh, known in most circles as the scribe of fascinating and lyrical and not at all too long dramas such as The Pillowman has the ability to stare deeply into the hearts of civilization and turn it into a Totalitarian Dreamscape full of suffering, strife, and just maybe, a little bit of fun!
This particular production, after numerous unauthorized changes to the script, begins with a young man named Kurkijan (portrayed with blatant earnestness by a nimble Andrew Jessop) blindfolded and brought into a dark room with two cops on the edge of justice, handily portrayed in suits by Tom Hickey (an understudy) and Johnny Garcia (an attractive fella, but not the kind of guy you want to bring home to meet the folks because your Dad might be intimidated and your Mom might leave your Dad for just one sensual night in the bathtub with him). They reveal that this young man has written stories that are in direct opposition to what Totalitarian states stand for, which is not murdering children. It appears in any Totalitarian state, children are the real hot button topic, and should be treated with love and respect and not given soda late at night because childhood obesity runs rampant in Totalitarian states. (This also makes me think that we should take a long look at becoming a Totalitarian state in the U.S.A. because of all the fat kids and women.) The two policemen tell Kurkijan that the stories he has written, but not had published, tell the tales that closely resemble the torture and murder of 3 or 5 youngsters in the area. Kurkijat says he doesn't know what they are talking about, but the cops ain't trying to hear dat. They want someone to pay for these kids being all hurt and shit, and Kurmijam is just the man. The two officers have also taken into custody the young writer's brother, Frank, (played with creativeness and foresight by Peter Oyloe) whom as we find out is not retarded but pretty close. You see, Frank can form complex sentences and take care of himself and walk upright and feed himself and have emotions and junk. They think having Frank will help convince Kurkilbore to confess. This is not the case. Kurmitjak begins to tell his stories, and as he does, the worlds he has created reveal themselves onstage, with a stellar cast to boot. Performances are too great and too many to be named here, but the real stars of this show are the... oh. They don't list the cast on the website, but there was one dude named Katherine, and another named Jeremy. Also, there was this really awesome kid named Jimmy who is really good in the show and some girl that plays Jesus that is good too. Anyway, everybody is great, even if they don't have names. My only major issue with the show is that sometimes they say words that are British or Irish or something and when they say them in their American accents, it's as if we have entered a Totalitarian state, which we haven't in real life. Even though they said we did in the play, but we haven't. I can't really say anything else about the show because every line in it is a twist, which is why Red Twist decided to do this play. After viewing Red Twist's mission statement on their website, this piece is directly in the wheelhouse of their sort of stuff- "Red Twist Theatre thrives to engage the audience with art that has lots of twists and has the word "man" in the title." Well, kudos, Red Twist, you have done it again! As a big fan of director Kimberly Senior's work around town, I was completely blown away, mainly because this wasn't a Chekov piece or a weird child written show at the Pegasus Theater. This show has been running for 2 years now, and the theater seats a comfortable 17 people, so don't miss out on this production! If you love dead kids and men in suits, this is surely the show for you!