Friday, January 22, 2016

Red Light Theatre

I really meant to post this yesterday to give readers one more shot at seeing this play - Red Light Winter produced by Unit 102, but I was just too exhausted.  So you still can go see the play tonight or Saturday.  It will likely sell out (even Tuesday was sold out and I had to come back on Wed.!), so reserving seats is highly recommended.

I thought they did a nice job with a tricky play, and I'd certainly be open to talking to them about doing Yankee Tavern (see this post).  I think that would work pretty well in their space, even though seating is pretty limited (I'd say 1/3 fewer seats than Red Sandcastle and perhaps half of what the Storefront can squeeze in).  The theatre is way out on Dufferin and Queen, and I was not too happy that I had to turn around and go home on Tuesday.  Also, the bathroom situation is just completely absurd, even for a small house.  I guess it isn't all that much better at Storefront or Red Sandcastle in terms of facilities, but somehow it is at least more obvious who is actually in line for the bathroom.  Here people all just stand around in the lobby and you have no idea how long the line actually is.  And while it wasn't their fault, one of the fattest guys I have ever seen (at the theatre at any rate) sat next to me and basically pushed me half a seat over.  So the theatre going experience wasn't so great on my visit, but I can probably overlook that.

I think this review is pretty much spot on.  I really hated the Davis character, who charmingly keeps calling the French prostitute he has picked up a "frog."  In general he is a total douchebag.  I realize he is partially overcompensating for some hidden hurt, trying hard not to show his vulnerability, but really it was just too much.  I really had just had about enough, and if he hadn't vanished fairly early in the first act, I probably would have left at intermission.  What I do find pretty much unfathomable is why Matt would bother sticking around with him.  There is something compelling (perhaps almost Nietzschean) about arrogant assholes (I had a friend from college who was a bit like a very toned down Davis, so I have some experience with letting someone run over you), but one also should have some line in the sand to preserve one's self-respect (I certainly did and not surprisingly our relationship got much better after I stood up for myself).  Matt had a serious girlfriend and she eventually left him for Davis (and the two are still ostensibly a couple throughout the play).  Matt decided to blame her and to preserve his friendship with Davis.  That to me indicates just how little self-respect he has, which is kind of evident throughout the play.  I guarantee you that if any of my friends from college had induced a girlfriend to break up with me, I would never speak with them again, let alone go off with them on a trip to Amsterdam.  Hopefully, this gives you a sense of the messed-up dynamics of the play.

I did enjoy the play so long as Davis was not on stage, and I didn't have to think why Matt or even the prostitute found Davis so magnetic, since he was basically just a total dick.  Matt in particular is a very vulnerable character apt to spew all kind of things.  In a different play, without the Davis character, he would definitely come across as a creepy stalker, but here we identify with him and his longing for human connection, since he is the total opposite of Davis (and I can't imagine anyone watching the play and identifying with Davis at all).

I've been to Amsterdam three times, but I only passed through the Red Light District once -- just out of curiosity -- honest!  You aren't supposed to take pictures, but I did take one just to prove I had seen it.  So here it is.

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