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Red Rex
Red Rex

Red Rex
Steep Theatre
Thru - Mar 30, 2019

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Steep Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Highly Recommended

"...For “Red Rex” is more a manifesto for systemic, socialist change than an industry take-down. It does not address as much as it could how these righteous changes should intersect with our existing capitalist system — for which it is hardly fair to blame storefront artists, who hardly are robber barons but mostly progressives doing the best with what tools they have been given. But then we’ll have to look at all seven plays to fully consider that. Fascinating that the climax comes next fall at, ahem, the Goodman."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended

"...Holter and the folks at Steep Theatre have achieved something great here: a play that both entertains and edifies. It unflinchingly dares to tackle serious issues and serious ideas, but it never leaves the audience wanting less."
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Jack Helbig

Time Out Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...Everyone takes their licks: not just white artists and administrators but also artists of color, critics, donors, the Jeff Committee, everyone. But Holter knows how to shade his characters in; even the play’s closest thing to a true villain—Red Rex’s white, gay artistic director Greg (Chris Chmelik)—has his moments. The only parts of the play that ring false are the hopeful bits that Holter drops in towards the end, starting with a twist that immediately spins off its axis. By then, Red Rex has done such a convincing job of burning everything to the ground that salting the earth and walking away seem like the only correct course of action."
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Alex Huntsberger

Chicago On the Aisle- Recommended

"...The latest installment in Ike Holter’s now six-play saga of the fictional Chicago neighborhood of Rightlynd is part social commentary, part inside-theater sendup. From all angles, it is smartly written – provocative, witty and taut."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

NewCity Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...Buffeted by moments of tenderness (a conversation between a stage manager and a set designer finds Holter at his most effectively empathetic), “Red Rex” is dominated by cruelty. It has not one but two near-irredeemable villains, one who gets what’s coming, the other living with a ramrod running from spine to sphincter, which I suppose counts as its own kind of comeuppance."
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Kevin Greene

Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended

"...With the audience seated around the periphery of the room, every theatergoer will experience Ike Holter’s new play as if they were a fly on the wall. The drama is another of the playwright’s Chicago stories and part of a seven-part series. It’s story is gritty, unflinching and impossible to escape. The play will certainly entertain and haunt audiences, long after leaving the theatre. Thanks to the honest, realistic, multi-layered and fully committed choices of the cast, as well as Jonathan Berry’s perceptive direction and starkly realistic staging, it’s hard to imagine any other way to present this play."
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Colin Douglas

Third Coast Review- Highly Recommended

"...The Red Rex Theatre Co. rehearses a play about characters drawn from their own Rightlynd neighborhood in Ike Holter’s play at Steep Theatre. They hope this will be the play that will make their mark on the city, but that’s not to be. Because the story belongs to someone else."
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Nancy Bishop

Picture This Post- Highly Recommended

"...Desperate to give Red Rex the hit it needs to make the leap from obscurity to cultural relevance, playwright, producer, and director Lana (Amanda Powell) takes the loose outline of a decades-old Rightlynd family tragedy and dresses it up into a star-crossed, politically charged interracial romance. She has a cheerfully ruthless executive director (Chris Chmelik) slashing obstacles out of her way; a Jeff-winning, New York-bound set designer in Max; and a doggedly ethical and masterfully competent stage manager (Aurora Adachi-Winter giving new meaning to the phrase ‘slow burn’)."
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Harold Jaffe

Rescripted- Highly Recommended

"...Red Rex had a lot of expectations and energy behind it, as it was following the premiere of the extravaganza that was Rightlynd at Victory Gardens Theater. It certainly lives up to the hype and then some."
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Regina Victor