Vincent in Brixton | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Vincent in Brixton 

Nicholas Wright's reenvisioning of Vincent van Gogh's life has broad shoulders and a bigger heart, but all subtleties get washed out in Frank Pullen's puzzling staging for the Journeymen. The opening scene, which features a flurry of kitchen activity, becomes a 20-minute cooking tutorial, complete with two characters stirring gravy. The energy devoted to superficial concerns keeps the actors from fully inhabiting their roles, and what should be a gravitational pull between Vincent and his landlady (a frigid Caroline Dodge Latta) gets lost. In the past Pullen has successfully staged shows in inhospitable environments that don't seem very intimate, but in this lofted venue he makes the odd choice of putting all the action in the middle of the stage, where his cast drowns in space. Meanwhile the set design draws attention toward the distant three walls--and to our watches, cell phones, and pagers. Through 4/24: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM. Storefront Theater, Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, 66 E. Randolph, 312-742-8497. $12-$15.

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