RED: Thespian Thoughts Theatre Review by Sandro Monetti

<p< < p=””>

Theatre Review by: SANDRO MONETTI
Red is the color of entertainment in this vibrant new production of a play that won six Tony Awards. <p< < p=””> </p< <>


It’s an electric two character drama about a flawed artistic genius and the young assistant who challenges his beliefs.
<p< < p=””> </p< <>

The script itself is a work of art – and no wonder as it’s from John Logan, who wrote entertaining and intelligent movies like Gladiator, Skyfall and The Aviator in addition to several powerhouse plays. <p< < p=””> </p< <>


The story sees vain Mark Rothko, a leading abstract expressionist, take on an assistant to help him as he’s commissioned for big money to paint murals for the walls of a ritzy New York restaurant. But over discussions with the apprentice about the clash between commerce and art, he becomes convinced he is selling out his principles by exhibiting his work to diners who won’t properly appreciate it.
<p< < p=””> </p< <>


Stage veteran Tony Abatemarco convincingly captures the pain, pomposity and passion of tortured painter Rothko. Glee actor Patrick Stafford is terrific too as his assistant, Ken, who gradually transitions from the artist’s servant to his conscience.
<p< < p=””> </p< <>


The pair work so well together, never more so than when Ken reveals a tragic personal secret and insensitive Rothko is indifferent to anything except its artistic implications.
<p< < p=””> </p< <>

Played out on an atmospheric artist’s studio set at Long Beach’s lovely International City Theatre, director caryn desai (sic) keeps the drama tense and fast moving in a 90 minute battle of wits that still feels as fresh at the end as a new coat of paint.

Tony Abatemarco & Patrick Stafford in RED Photo by Suzanne Mapes
Tony Abatemarco & Patrick Stafford in RED
Photo by Suzanne Mapes

<p< < p=””> <p< < p=””> </p< <></p< <>

Written by John Logan
Produced and Directed by caryn desai (sic)
Presented by International City Theatre

Thursdays-Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm until September 15.
At International City Theatre, Long Beach Performing Arts Center, 300 East Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90802
Tickets priced $45 (Fri, Sat and Sun) and $38 (Thursdays).
To book call 562-436-4610 or go to <p< < p=””> <p< < p=””> </p< <></p< <>

Cast – Toby Abatemarco as Mark Rothko and Patrick Stafford as Ken

Writer – John Logan
Producer and Director – caryn desai
Scenic Designer – JR Bruce
Lighting Designer – Donna Ruzika
Sound Designer – Dave Mickey <p< < p=””> <p< < p=””> </p< <></p< <>

Thespian Thoughts is a column on Actors Entertainment, a channel on the Actors Podcast Network, a Pepper Jay Production.

</p< <>

Leave a Comment