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  Red Handed Otter at A Red Orchid Theatre

Red Handed Otter

A Red Orchid Theatre
1531 N. Wells Street Chicago

Not long ago, Paul had a girlfriend, a cat, and few complaints. Now? Well, at least he's got his health. In between shifts at their security guard posts, Paul's work buddies try to cheer him up. In this comedy by one of New York's hottest emerging playwrights, Paul's friends' awkward (and hilarious) attempts to console him may just prove that some comforts only come on four legs.

Thru - May 24, 2015

Price: $30-$35

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 312-943-8722

Running Time: 1hr, 30mins

Nearby Restaurants

  Red Handed Otter Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...A section where the entire cast tries to mimic a growling rabbit is one of the most blissfully silly ensemble interludes I've seen in a while. And unlike other playwrights who use dead animals as a metaphor for unspeakable human cruelty (ahem, Martin McDongah!), Lipton's stories reveal the bruised but rabbit-soft hearts of people who desire little more than basic creature comforts, wherever they stumble upon them."
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Kerry Reid

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...Like Estelle, one of the characters in “Red Handed Otter” — the wonderfully quirky and surprisingly profound play by Ethan Lipton, now receiving its Chicago premiere in a blissfully well-acted production by A Red Orchid Theatre — I’d rather deal with people, as difficult as that can be. And I’d much prefer to have a massage than to give one to a red handed otter, even if Donald, another character in Lipton’s play, fully conveys the pleasures to be found in that rather offbeat activity."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...It's strange, silly, and ennobling, all at the same time: a wry portrait of love and loss. The rest of the play's 90 minutes explore the same theme but never again at the same level. Instead, they trade on the well-defined idiosyncrasies of Paul and his misfit fellow guards. A whiff of ain't-they-cute condescension hangs over the entire enterprise, despite Lipton's undeniable wit and endearing performances by Guy Van Swearingen, Luce Metrius, and Mierka Girten."
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Tony Adler

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...Lipton’s heightened reality, and the overweening innocence of most of his characters, can seem to spin in circles; as pet comparisons go, it most resembles the shaggy dog. But Dado’s staging for A Red Orchid, with deeply odd, lived-in performances by a committed cast, milks the premise for all its comic worth."
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Kris Vire

Stage and Cinema - Highly Recommended

"...It’s the kind of play that’s not afraid to be quiet. Lipton and Dado trust these characters not to bore us. Unlike dramas that pretend that dialogue is character, they won’t disappear when they don’t speak. They grow on you by being their unexpected selves. Plus, if you love cats for their complexity, curiosity and the purr-fect way they keep us real, Red Handed Otter is much more dinner dish than litter box."
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Lawrence Bommer

ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...This slice-of-live comedy is a funny, cute and honest presentation of how underachieving but nice folks struggle with the pitfalls of life. We see how their love for animals my be their only satisfying life achievement. On one level or another, we can relate and sympathize with all five. Red Handed Otter is a cute little comedy that satisfies."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...Director Dado brings out the connections between the characters and works to overcome the awkward Red Orchid space which keeps the audience inside the play. Jim Moore's ingenious set design folds like origami to create sense of place. If you are looking for an evening of up close and personal theater that will give you deep belly laughs, this is it."

Angela Allyn

Chicago Theatre Review - Recommended

"...In Ethan Lipton’s new play, all the characters speak volumes about the complicated relationships between men and women, however they’re expressed through the love given to and received from pets. These furry babies truly become their owner’s surrogate children. The devastation experienced by the loss of a pet is akin to losing a young son or daughter. Lipton has created a dialogue that speaks truths, both to pet owners and to those, like Estelle, who’ve never had the pleasure of owning a dog or a cat. Through Mr. Lipton’s realistic, amusing and empathetic characters we’re reminded that pets are people, too."
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Colin Douglas

The Fourth Walsh - Highly Recommended

"...Lipton’s pet love stories combined with his offbeat, lovable characters makes RED HANDED OTTER a sure thing! Although it’s more com than rom, the ending will still leave you believing in the power of relationships… with a pet. Long after the curtain, I continued to contemplate the long-term benefits of getting a hermit crab."
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Katy Walsh

  Red Handed Otter Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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