Red Handed Otter | A Red Orchid Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Mierka Girten in Red Handed Otter

Mierka Girten in Red Handed Otter

Michael Brosilow

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through May 24 2015
Price: $30-$35
The best bit in this 2012 comedy by Ethan Lipton is a long moment at the very start, when two security guards are sitting in their office, surrounded by diamond-mesh fencing and camera feeds, listening to Henryk Gorecki's stately, mournful Third Symphony. "Hell on earth, man," comments the middle-aged one, Paul, in his blue-collar brogue. Soon he'll be weeping inconsolably for his dead cat. It's strange, silly, and ennobling, all at the same time: a wry portrait of love and loss. The rest of the play's 90 minutes explore the same theme but never again at the same level. Instead, they trade on the well-defined idiosyncrasies of Paul and his misfit fellow guards. A whiff of ain't-they-cute condescension hangs over the entire enterprise, despite Lipton's undeniable wit and endearing performances by Guy Van Swearingen, Luce Metrius, and Mierka Girten. —Tony Adler

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