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'Red' at Weathervane Playhouse explores the nuances of art, life

by April Helms | Reporter Published: November 11, 2016 3:43 PM

"What do you see?"

"Red."

These first and last lines of John Logan's "Red" take on new meaning from the beginning to the end. That meaning is open to audience interpretation.

"Red," which opened in Weathervane Playhouse's Dietz Theatre Oct. 27, is based on the life of artist Mark Rothko, who takes on an assistant, Ken, as he works on a series of murals for the new Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan. The play is directed by Melanie YC Pepe.

Much of the story, and even some of the dialogue, comes from Rothko's letters and conversations, said Russell Kunz, who plays the temperamental actor.

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The two-actor play also features Joshua Larkin, who plays Rothko's young and vulnerable assistant. At the start, Rothko alternates between teacher and harsh critic, as he tries to indoctrinate Ken on his own life philosophy. Ken quickly learns to think like the older art master, but soon finds his own voice and the courage to disagree and even challenge Rothko. Rothko, meanwhile, is confronted with the holes and hypocrisies in his philosophies and actions.

Due to adult language and themes, "Red" is not suitable for children.

"Red" runs through Nov. 12. Tickets can be purchased at weathervaneplayhouse.com or by calling the box office at 330-836-2626.

Red is presented in Weathervane Playhouse's John L. Dietz Theater, the intimate 48-seat "second stage." All seats are sold on a general admission basis.

"Red" is performed without intermission.

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Next up

"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" will be staged Nov. 22 through Dec. 18 as a part of Weathervane's Emerging Artist series.

Weathervane also will stage "The Santaland Diaries" Dec. 1 through 17 as a part of its mainstage season.

Email: ahelms@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9423

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