WBEZ | Purple Heart http://www.wbez.org/tags/purple-heart Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Playwrights at Center Stage: Trap Door Premieres Vaclav Havel, Red Twist Captures Bruce Norris http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-12/playwrights-center-stage-trap-door-premieres-vaclav-havel-red-twist <p><p></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS6870_2570652-unveiling-1217121.jpg" title="" /></div><p><u><em>The Unveiling</em> and US Premiere of <em>Dozens of Cousins</em>, <a href="http://trapdoortheatre.com/">Trap Door Theatre</a>, 1655 W. Cortland; 773-384-0494; Thursdays-Saturdays 8 p.m. through January 26; tickets $20 (2 for one Thursdays, $25 Saturdays).</u><br /><br />Few theaters in the country, and none in Chicago, do the kind of work in which Trap Door Theatre specializes: the highly intellectual, deeply political and quasi-absurdist plays of contemporary Europe.&nbsp; So an evening at Trap Door is never less than an adventure, and often absolutely thrilling.&nbsp; That&rsquo;s the case with the company&rsquo;s current offering, a pair of plays by poet-dramatist Vaclav Havel. (In his spare time Havel engineered the Velvet Revolution against Soviet domination of Czechoslovakia and then became the first president of the Czech Republic.) Havel&rsquo;s bizarre comedies anatomize with surgical precision the ludicrous self-absorption of people determined to reform others, and Trap Door Artistic Director Beata Pilch captures every nuance.&nbsp; You know how some people have perfect pitch?&nbsp; Pilch and her actors have perfect rhythm for Havel&rsquo;s dialogue, and express it not only in speech but in dance and acrobatics as precise as the workings of a Swiss watch.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s impossible to describe: just go see it! (KK)<br /><br /><u><em>Purple Heart</em>, <a href="http://www.redtwist.org/">Redtwist Theatre</a>, 1044 West Bryn Mawr; 773-728-7529; Thursdays-Saturdays 7 p.m., Sundays 3 p.m. through January 27; tickets $30 ($25 Thursdays, seniors/students $5 off)</u><br /><br />Another first-rate work in a space the size of your living room.&nbsp; Redtwist Theatre in Edgewater isn&rsquo;t afraid to take on big projects, and when the project matches the company&rsquo;s very contemporary sensibility the results are outstanding.&nbsp; (Its production of <em>The Man From Nebraska</em> made brilliantly clear a play I&rsquo;d found puzzling and tedious at Steppenwolf.)&nbsp; Here again it takes on a one-time Steppenwolf commission, teasing out every layer of meaning in this early work by the Pulitzer-Prizewinning author of <em>Clybourne Park</em>.&nbsp; The four actors (including the remarkable teenager Nicholas Roget-King) strip back the surface of routine exchanges among a war widow, her mother-in-law, her son and a mysterious visitor so we can see the blood and muscle underneath.&nbsp; Director Jimmy McDermott gets the best from everybody, and Clay Sanderson takes the concept &ldquo;creepy&rdquo; to previously unknown heights.</p></p> Wed, 26 Dec 2012 19:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-12/playwrights-center-stage-trap-door-premieres-vaclav-havel-red-twist