Chicago theater welcomes back two hits

January 11, 2011

Can it be five years—five, really?—since Brett Neveu’s “The Earl” made the pavements run with blood at A Red Orchid Theatre? Has it been a year since TUTA Theatre Chicago scored a quirky hit with Bert Brecht’s rarely-produced comedy, “The Wedding?” The answers are “yes” and “yes,” and now these two shows are returning for limited runs “by popular demand.”

Neveu’s extremely violent noir comedy concerns three brothers who get their family jollies through rituals of violence with things pretty much ending in a draw until and outside—the Earl of the title—is invited into the fray. The show, originally a late-nighter, ran for six months at A Red Orchid and later was turned into an indie film, both with veteran Chicago tough guy Danny Goldring in the title role.

The good news is that Goldring lives to clobber again in this all-too-brief revival of “The Earl,” presented once again at A Red Orchid in a co-venture with a new theater entity calling itself The Inconvenience. Duncan Riddell directs the Feb. 2-23 run.

TUTA Theatre Chicago and its artistic director, Zeljko Djukic, scored an unexpected hit with “The Wedding” by bringing out the inner farce in this early (1919) Brecht dissection of the Bourgeoisie, adding highly sculptural staging and visuals along with original music by Jesse Terrill. It all will be back Feb. 5-March 6 at the Chopin Theatre in a reprise staging. Hey, the joke’s on you if you never thought Brecht was funny!