The Red Address | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Red Address 

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THE RED ADDRESS, Red Wolf Theatre Company, at Center Theater. Chicago-born playwright David Ives is best known for his clever satirical works, including the much produced All in the Timing and Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread.

With The Red Address he moves into serious drama, twisting his cleverness into an unlikely story about a businessman whose private pleasures as a cross-dresser are made public when his life is disrupted by a series of traumas. It's an odd play, evoking the hysterical machismo of early David Mamet male characters, with occasional verbal tributes to feminist ideology undercut by the stereotyped female characters, who are either whores or dutiful wives. By the maudlin ending, I began to wonder if this solipsistic drama was parodying itself.

Despite Red Wolf's solid cast and Dale Calandra's intelligent direction, The Red Address stumbles along in short episodes punctuated by inexplicable macho confrontations and strangely coy seductions. Ives's play is half-baked, with clever language and a plot that excites prurient interest without ever articulating anything new about transvestites, gender stereotypes, or the business world.

--Carol Burbank


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