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30 January 2007

TRTCT's Number 1 (With A Bullet)

editor's note-- this review was written for the Asheville Citizen-Times, and has no affiliation with Asheville Performing Arts Reviews. APAR did not recieve permission to reprint this review; it was obtained from the Asheville Citizen-Times website, which we encourage you to visit at the following link:


(if that did not work, here is the text of the review)

THEATER REVIEW: Love theme unifies pieces of Redundant's 'Number 1'
published January 28, 2007 12:15 am

ASHEVILLE — The Redundant Theatre Company Theatre has hit its stride and finally achieved the form its founders envisioned when they started working together some years ago. With "Number 1 (With a Bullet)," Redundant has come into its own.

"Number 1" features three new plays and three "repeats," with variations of audience or players' favorites from the past.

Redundant operates more like a musical ensemble than a typical theater. The group stages short plays, several in an evening, much as a musical concert of different songs.

The glue that holds together the six pieces of "Number 1" is a love theme, anticipating the arrival of Valentine's Day. A clever transition between the various vignettes is the reading of actual love letters.

The opening episode, "A Bowl of Soup," is a show Redundant had considered for some time but couldn't find the right context. But here, it guides the audience pretty specifically into the group's version of a love show. It's a good opener.

This is often provocative material and intellectually demanding. The company provides a talented and precocious cast. Willie Repoley, Rain Newcomb, Rebecca Morris and Todd Weakley are each a master of dialect and nuanced acting. While some of the material is obscure, other pieces are quite intellectually demanding, everyone seeing this production will marvel at the mastery of technique and delivery of vast amounts of material.

Jim Cavener writes on theater for the Citizen-Times. Email at: JimCavener@aya.Yale.edu

Private Lives

I went to the Diana Wortham a few weeks ago to see what was marketed as a big touring live radio version of Noel Coward's Private Lives, produced by a big, fancy L.A. theatre. What I got for my $30 ticket was was possibly the most disappointing and un-thought out piece of theatre I have ever suffered through.
The main problem was simply that they did not commit to any choices: Was it a period show? The script indicated yes, but the costumes and props (including microphones) did not, at least not consistently. Was it a radio show, or a traditional theatre show? Well, it was neither. It had neither the blocking of a traditional show, nor the affectations of a radio show.
It was clearly under-rehearsed, the delivery of the lines was consistently heavy-handed and embarrassingly hammy, and the smart, witty script was left limp and unbelievably boring in the hands of this travesty of a company.
Clearly these people were interested only in cashing their paychecks, and they had no concern for the damage they were doing to the reputation of serious theatre nationwide.
A disaster.

--Willie Repoley