Jim Mezon and David Coomber in Red. Photo by Bruce Zinger.
I think my opinion of Canadian Stage's new production of RED is biased.
I loved it; but can't shake this feeling that I wasn't an objective viewer (as much as one can be) and can't put my finger on why I wasn't.
Maybe it was that the dialogue was witty and searing and pulled absolutely no punches, so when the two characters - artist Mark Rothko and his assistant Ken - passionately debated about the merits of art and artists and culture and history, I couldn't help but think "Yes! Yes! This is what I think but I can never say it so eloquently! Keep going! Keep yelling!"
Maybe it was the awesome set-design by David Boechler that not only allowed Rothko and his assistant to live in a wold of chaotic structure, but also provided the backdrop for exquisite projections by Brian Johnson that helped create the three-dimensional element necessary for a play centred around a great artist and his visual works.
Maybe I was in the proper frame-of-mind to see a play about art and beauty and so I shouldn't have been surprised when I was so caught up in the emotions during the final scene that I shed a tear or two (or three or four).
Or maybe it was beause I'm personally undertaking a major life change at the moment and listening to the words about risking self, security and failure, (Naysayers get back!) for what you're passionate about, was inspiring and touched on my insecurities in a way that only live theatre can.
But whatever the reason - I loved RED and think you will too.
The text is rich, Mezon as Rothko is amazing, and the set is beautiful.
Do yourself a favour and experience it.
RED is playing at the Bluma Appel Theatre ( 27 Front St. E.) from now until Dec. 17.
For a very cool interactive experience, visit: www.experiencered.com