peteg's blog - noise - theatre - 2014 09 22 ANightOut

A Night Out by Harold Pinter.

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I rushed off down to the central Chicago Public Library after work as I'd finally gotten notification that my Silk Road CD had arrived from the nether regions of their network after a week. Unfortunately the computer system in the popular library decided to take a holiday, so I almost didn't get it. While waiting I sought out a copy of Burdick's shorts A Role in Manila. Had the customary (perfunctory) Thai for dinner at the de Paul campus-of-sorts, and then a fairly pleasant and not-too-hairy ride up Dearborn then Wells to A Red Orchid Theatre. It remains warm in the sun and the wind hasn't quite developed a taste for gooseflesh.

I'd tried to find the buy-a-ticket link before turning up, but didn't and ultimately figured it'd either be very sold out or very not sold out. As it was I got there 29 minutes early and was number seven on a waiting list that eventually numbered in the thousands. Harold Pinter hasn't been this popular since he got the Nobel in 2005. I wasn't the last to cough up my $10 and squeeze past the organized, but this had left no time left for booze, which was probably just as well as I was sleepy. No afternoon coffee, see. Anyway, the cast greeted us with some manic Sade/Marat hospitality and dancing, and I was pleased to see the players of Ecstasy, unfortunately out of character, there to see the mess to be made of their fantastic set.

The reviewer at the Reader more-or-less nails it, uncharitably though, as the commenter observes. They're both right; Harold Pinter deserves this lighter approach, though it proves unsustainable over the longer haul. The best parts were indeed the dance scenes, where modern partying is cut with some dated dialogue about the eternal.

I have no idea what A Red Orchid Theatre's incubator is supposed to be, but I'm going to keep an eye on it.