How To Be Sawed In Half
TheatreChicago.com, August 26,
August 26, 2000
New City, August 31, 2000
Free Press, September 6, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times, August 30, 2000
Chicago Tribune, August 25,
Chicago Sun-Times, August 25,
There are plenty of fun moments, and the magic
tricks were drawing gasps from the audience the night I attended.
The costumes and set are stunning, and both actors are on
top of their game; there is enough strength in the performances
and visuals to recommend this show.
New City, August 31,
There are more than a few parallels between
sleights-of-hand masquerading as extraordinary things and
truly extraordinary things masquerading as banal, everyday
occurrences. By pairing an aging, mediocre magician named
Prospero (George A. Wilson) with a cunning, youthful assistant
called Calibana (Rachel Sledd), McDermott provides the framework
for an exquisitely original meditation on the power of everyday
manipulations and astounding feats of brazen rebellion.
- Catey Sullivan -
Free Press, September
The characters’ reality is reflected
by our real-life setting, as Thirteenth Tribe, in a coup,
secured not one of the Athenaeum’s tiny studios but
its grand, beautiful mainstage, which seats almost 1,000.
Director Joanna Settle makes excellent use of this excellent
opportunity, fully utilizing the balcony boxes, trap doors
and fly spaces such a theatre possesses.
As the aging, addled Prospero, George A. Wilson
is at his best when failing to pull off the many tricks and
sleights-of-hand his act requires. With Rachel Sledd as the
sexy Calibana, he shares an amusing repartee of missed cues
and lost opportunities. Sledd, meanwhile, proves with her
superior stage presence Calibana’s assertion that “the
assistant is really the main attraction.”
Stephanie Nelson’s set design makes for
a beautifully arresting image, especially when contrasted
against the vast open space of the stage. Stacy Ellen Rich
dresses Calibana in everything from a lovely white sequined
dress with a fur cape to an outrageously garish outfit of
yellow and fuschia stripes, complete with a laughable matching
bow. A three-piece band, Maestro Matic, delightfully provides
original accompaniment and sound effects, amping the comedy.
G.D. Smith projects images on an upturned hanging dress;
Gwen Grossman produces a fine effect with extensive footlighting;
and rabbits even run rampant after a hat trick goes typically
Give Thirteenth Tribe credit for the will to
- Web Behrens -
Sun-Times, August 30, 2000
There is exemplary, hugely imaginative work
from Maestro Matic, a trio of composer-sound designers (Doug
Brush, Mark Messing and Oliver Steck) who provide a complex
accompaniment to the show from their perch in a balcony box.
Stephanie Nelson’s colorful toy-theatre set, Stacy
Ellen Rich’s playfully kitschy costumes and Gwen Grossman’s
lighting (which help turn Calibana’s hoop skirt into
a movie screen) also are full of invention.
- Hedy Weiss -
August 25, 2000
To Be Sawed in Half
August 25, 2000
to Be Sawed in Half