The reviews are in for ‘Red’ at Park Square Theatre

Controversial painter Mark Rothko is the subject of Park Square Theatre’s latest production, “Red.”

Set in his studio, Rothko has been commissioned to create a series of paintings for the new luxury restaurant, The Four Seasons, on Park Avenue in New York. Rothko battles with his own success, and what that means for his art.

Critics find this production powerful, engaging and charming.

Red2.jpg

Steven Lee Johnson as Ken and J C Cutler as Mark Rothko in Red

Photo by Petronella Ytsma

From Graydon Royce at the Star Tribune:

There is so much to love about this play and this production. Cutler explodes with fury when Johnson’s Ken breaks a moment of concentration with a suggestion that his canvas needs more “red.” Ken gives back, later, savaging Rothko about his inability to accept the new wave of artists, just as Rothko’s cohort had “stomped to death” Picasso and his school.

…the work pulsates with its chosen rhythms, and Cutler’s final image is one of the most powerful tableaux witnessed on any stage lately. Logan’s play is so keen and perceptive, lean and well made. Not seeing it would be a mistake.

Red4A.jpg

Steven Lee Johnson as Ken and J C Cutler as Mark Rothko in Red

Photo by Petronella Ytsma

From Renee Valois at the Pioneer Press:

Over the course of the Tony Award-winning play, we explore the emotional power of the abstract works Rothko creates with the intention of engaging the viewer even as director Richard Cook’s production engages its viewers, especially in the interplay between the two head-butting men, one on the verge of an art career and the other at the pinnacle, fearful that he will fall off the edge.

So what’s the point? It may be summed up by a bit of dialogue. “Everything worthwhile ends. We are in the perpetual process now: creation, maturation, cessation.”

Red1.jpg

Steven Lee Johnson as Ken and J C Cutler as Mark Rothko in Red

Photo by Petronella Ytsma

From John Olive at HowWasTheShow.com:

Rothko may be an insufferable [your carefully chosen word here] but he is never ever boring. He pulls us in, charms us with his bristling intellect – and then makes us hate him. This tension is the essence of this piece and if you’re ready to hold two opposite opinions of this complicated man, well, Red may be the play for you.

“Red” runs through October 7 at Park Square Theatre in Saint Paul. Have you seen it? What’s your review?

Comments are closed.