Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Redeemers (New Leaf Theatre Guest Review by John Taflan)

Jessica Hutchinson’s Bilal Dardai’s Redeemers (currently playing at New Leaf Theatre…oh wait, no it’s not…it’s in a bar) is certainly a festive slice of holiday cake. The play follows the travails of a rag-tag group of middle-class folks just trying to make their way through Barack Obama’s America. It also serves as a cautionary tale for our hardest working citizens. Billionaires beware: If your Fortune 500 comes into a little extra holiday cheer this year, don’t pass it along to your skilled and eager employees. They’ll take your embossed check and shove it up your Christmas stocking.

Ok ok ok…I need to stop the review for a second...ok… There was this little show over the summer called Hideous Progeny produced by LiveWire Chicago Theatre and directed by the aforementioned Jessica Hutchinson. Some of you may have heard about it. I know I sure did. You don’t forget a part like Lord FREAKING Byron all that easily. Nor do you forget a write-up like this:

“Do you know who John Taflan is? He is an actor in town in general and the guy who plays Lord Byron in this play in particular. He usually plays young men on "the edge". He is the third pole in my ‘Axis of Beauty.’”

So, let me ask you this: If you’re an “Axis of Beauty,” if you’re a young man “on the edge,” if you’re the non-Equity Joe Dempsey, then why the hell wouldn’t you have been asked to be in a show directed by the SAME PERSON, starring an actor you’ve ALREADY WORKED WITH, another actor who PRODUCED your beautiful performance, marketed by ANOTHER actor you’ve already worked with, and photographed by the consumptive hippie whose ass you just kicked and whose play-wife you just almost-banged?

Do you have an answer to that?

No, I didn’t think so. Neither do I.

I am a good actor! Why didn’t I get cast in this play? What is wrong with me?! I was in another play with these people and I did good in it! Someone on the internet thought I was beautiful!

All right. Well, you know what, all my used-to-be friends? I don’t need you. I don’t need you, Jess Hutchinson. I don’t need you and your AFFAIR WITH PAT KING, which is the only thing that could possibly explain this egregious miscarriage of character realization. Turns out, all you have to do is BONE a director in this town to get your moment in the Christmas lights. So line up with your dicks out, Chicago. She’s taking headshots!

Seeing as this is a review (in name, at least): Joel Ewing and Marsha Harman both turn in complex, stunning performances…which would have been EVEN BETTER if they weren’t playing off Hutchinson’s skin flute. Seriously, Pat and I are good friends and I love the guy. But that dude crossed the line that dare not be crossed. You signed your cock on her dotted line, man. You filled her inbox with your spam mail, douche-nozzle. Remember your Viewpoints training, dude, because the next time I’m at callbacks with you, there’s gonna be some serious kinesthetic response all up in your face.

We’re still on for dinner this week, right?

Show as is: B+

Show with JOHN TAFLAN: A-

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