Showing posts with label Dana Anderson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dana Anderson. Show all posts

Monday, October 22, 2018

REVIEW: Martin McDonagh's THE LONESOME WEST Via AstonRep Theatre Company

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

AstonRep Theatre Company Presents
By Martin McDonagh
Directed by Company Member Dana Anderson
October 18 – November 18, 2018 
at The Raven Theatre

 (left to right) Dylan Todd, Phoebe Moore and Robert Tobin in AstonRep Theatre Company’s production of THE LONESOME WEST. 
All Photos by Emily Schwartz.

by bonnie kenaz-mara

I've enjoyed the darkly visceral works of playwright, Martin McDonagh for years, and relished the chance to see The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Tony nominee, Best Play 1998) last March at Northlight Theatre. I've never caught THE LONESOME WEST on stage, so I was eager to see AstonRep Theatre Company's season opener at The Raven Theatre. This high energy production did not disappoint.

(left to right) Robert Tobin and Dylan Todd 

Robert Tobin* (Coleman) and Dylan Todd (Valene) are exhausting and scary as hell as volatile Irish brothers with an intense sibling rivalry, sociopathic tendencies and dark secrets. This fast paced drama is full of adrenaline pumping stage combat, combined with complex characters, unfortunate incidents, and thought provoking drama. 

(left to right) Mark Tacderas and Phoebe Moore

 (left to right) Robert Tobin, Phoebe Moore and Mark Tacderas

Mark Tacderas (Father Welsh) and Phoebe Moore (Girleen) round out the cast with strong portrayals of the disillusioned priest and delightfully sarcastic, lovestruck teen. There are enough plot twists and surprises to keep the audience engrossed. This voyeuristic glimpse into the interconnections of small town life and the violently passionate bond of brothers is intensely compelling, and like a horrific car accident, it's nearly impossible to look away, no matter how much you might long to. 

Martin McDonagh's grasp of human psychology, conflict, culture,  family, desperation, religion and intertwined relationships is uncanny. It's exhilarating to see his complicated characters come to life as well as self destruct on stage. Don't miss this. Highly recommended.  

(left to right) Mark Tacderas and Dylan Todd 

Robert Tobin and Dylan Todd Photo by Emily Schwartz

AstonRep Theatre Company is pleased to launch its 2018-19 season with Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy THE LONESOME WEST, directed by Company Member Dana Anderson*, playing October 18 – November 18, 2018 at The Raven Theatre (West Stage), 6157 N. Clark St. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at or by calling (773) 828-9129. 

THE LONESOME WEST features AstonRep Company Member Robert Tobin* with Phoebe Moore, Mark Tacderas and Dylan Todd.

Valene and Coleman, two brothers living alone in their father's house after his recent death, find it impossible to exist without the most massive and violent disputes over the most mundane and innocent of topics. Only Father Welsh, the local young priest, is prepared to try to reconcile the two before their petty squabblings spiral into vicious and bloody carnage.

(left to right) Dylan Todd and Robert Tobin 

(left to right) Robert Tobin, Dylan Todd and Mark Tacderas

The production team for THE LONESOME WEST includes: Jeremiah Barr* (scenic and props design, technical director), Cody Von Ruden (costume design), Samantha Barr* (lighting design, production manager), Melanie Thompson (sound design), Claire Yearman (fight choreographer), Carrie Hardin (dialect coach) and Lara Caprini* (stage manager).

*Denotes AstonRep Company Members.

Cast (in alphabetical order): Phoebe Moore (Girleen), Mark Tacderas (Father Welsh), Robert Tobin* (Coleman) and Dylan Todd (Valene).
Understudy:  Timothy Sullivan (Coleman)

Location: The Raven Theatre (West Stage), 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago
Dates: Previews: Thursday, October 18 at 8 pm and Friday, October 19 at 8 pm
Regular run: Sunday, October 21 – Sunday, November 18, 2018
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 3:30 pm
Tickets: Previews: $12; Regular run: $25. Student/seniors $15. Tickets are currently available at or by calling (773) 828-9129.

About the Artists

Martin McDonagh’s (Playwright) plays include: The Pillowman (Tony nominee, Best Play 2005; Olivier Award Winner 2004), The Lieutenant of Inishmore (Olivier Award Winner, Best Comedy 2003), The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Tony nominee, Best Play 1998), The Lonesome West (Tony nominee, Best Play 1999), A Skull in Connemara, The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Banshees of Inisheer, among others. Other works include Barney Nenagh’s Shotgun Circus, Suicide on Sixth Street, In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths, Six Shooter (Academy Award, Best Short 2006), Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (multiple Academy Award nominations, two wins for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor).

Dana Anderson (Director) has worked as an AstonRep company member on The Laramie Project (actor), Four by Tenn (director), 1984 (asst. director), Eleemosynary (dramaturg) and The Black Slot (actor). She recently directed Belle of Austin (Rhinofest) and Little Miss (Davenport’s). She is the Associate Artistic Director of the prison program Shakespeare Corrected, where she directed Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It and A Midsummer Night's Dream. She has also worked with Theo Ubique, Kokandy, Towle Theatre, Greatworks Theatre, Shawnee Summer Theatre, The New Colony and Quest Theatre Ensemble. As an educator, she is a teaching artist with Mudlark Theater Company.

About AstonRep Theatre Company:

AstonRep Theatre Company was formed in the summer of 2008. Since then, the company has produced 21 full-length productions and nine annual Writers’ Series. AstonRep Theatre Company is an ensemble of artists committed to creating exciting, intimate theatrical experiences that go beyond the front door to challenge audiences and spark discussion where the show is not the end of the experience: it is just the beginning.
(left to right) Robert Tobin and Dylan Todd

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