Red Eye Mounts the Midwest Premiere of
RESERVOIR BITCHES by Laura McGhee -
A brutally funny dramatic parody that turns a cult classic on its ear.
Right now you can walk into any big box media store and pick up a copy of the just released 15th anniversary special edition DVD of RESERVOIR DOGS, director Quentin Tarantino's influential milestone of independent filmmaking. What better occasion to revisit this modern cult classic with a splendidly re-imagined, all-female theatrical parody? And what better company to bring it to you than the Twin Cities' own Red Eye theater, known not only for its expertise in creating multimedia stagings, but also - like Tarantino - for liberally referencing pop culture throughout the company's 24-year production history to explore and exploit the humor found in the darker side of contemporary life.
Award-winning Canadian playwright Laura McGhee was listening to the song Stuck in the Middle With You, when she wondered what connotation the dancing torture scene would have had if a woman had been playing the role portrayed by Michael Madsen in Reservoir Dogs. Then she started to speculate about what else would have been different … RESERVOIR BITCHES premiered last June in Toronto to sold-out houses and rave reviews: “McGhee's script taps the comic potential while retaining the strength of Tarantino's original plot - it will appeal to film buffs and gender freaks alike.” (Toronto Star) “The production takes Tarantino's exercise in machismo and turns it on its head, blending all the bad-ass gangster posturing with a healthy dollop of estrogen-fuelled neuroses and Dr. Phil self-psychoanalysis … hilarious results.” (The Torontoist)
For the Red Eye production, Artistic Director Steve Busa works with long time design collaborators Ron Albert (lights), Liz Josheff (media, costumes & set), and Gary Johnson (set), a team that's joined by a very talented roster of performers: Laura Coates (Ms. Orange), Ariel Dumas (Nice Gal Eddie), Emily Gunyou (Ms. Pink), Georgia Hallman (Jo Cabot), Katrina Hawley (The Cop), Alia Mortensen (Ms. Blonde), and a special appearance by Cheryl Ronning (Ms. White).
Friday - April 20, 8 PM, $18 ($15)
Saturday - April 21, 8 PM, pay-what-you-can
Friday - April 27, 8 PM, $18 ($15)
Saturday - April 28, 8 PM, $18 ($15)
Sunday - April 29, 7 PM $15 ($12)
Monday - April 30, 7 PM pay-what-you-can
Friday - May 4, 8 PM $18 ($15)
Saturday - May 5, 8 PM $18 ($15)
Sunday - May 6, 7 PM $15 ($12)
( ) student/senior price w/ID
Reservations: 612/870-0309 or www.theredeye.org
THEATER REVIEW: NEW TAKE ON 'RESERVOIR DOGS' IS CLEVER, ECCENTRIC AND FUN
by Graydon Royce, Star Tribune
April 24, 2007
Emily Gunyou has quietly become one of the more interesting young actors in the Twin Cities. Working on small-theater fringes, she shows a consistent eagerness to go deep with character and measure a performance in such a way that eccentricity appears natural.
The latest evidence is on display at Red Eye in "Reservoir Bitches," a slight but clever turn on the Quentin Tarantino movie "Reservoir Dogs."
Gunyou plays Ms. Pink, one of the ill-fated gang of thieves who stumbles into a robbery that turns out to be a set-up. There isn't great depth in Laura McGhee's script, but the playwright does allow an actor to take hold of a role and shake some fun from it. Gunyou does just that with her portrait of a nebbish -- a nasally voiced worrier who paradoxically carries a steely nerve for danger and a profane toughness. Her portrayal is easily the most interesting among Red Eye's cast, under Steve Busa's direction.
Gunyou, though, is the zest here. She makes "Reservoir Bitches" as ridiculously fun as the playwright intended.
SPOTLIGHT: RESERVOIR BITCHES
by Quinton Skinner?, City Pages
April 25, 2007
I've wandered out of the Red Eye on more than one occasion wondering how I was going to describe what I just saw without sounding as though I had gone barking nuts. (That's more a function of the limits of my descriptive abilities than of the coherence of the work. Usually.) No such worries this time.
Emily Gunyou nearly steals the thing as Ms. Pink (seeing an attractive woman channel the spirit of Steve Buscemi leaves one feeling, shall we say, confused). Meanwhile, as Katrina Hawley's cop waits to be mutilated, she pronounces herself "strangely aroused"—which is not a bad way to describe this evening at the Red Eye.
by Quinton Skinner, for Variety
Apr. 24, 2007
While Quentin Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs" oozed flop sweat and testosterone, Laura McGhee's "Reservoir Bitches" takes the same heist-gone-wrong scenario and flips it on its head, recasting all the familiar characters -- from the undercover cop to the homicidal maniac to the crumb in search of redemption -- as women. Result is a fast-paced show that never really aspires to rise above entertaining parody. While previously staged at the New York Intl. Fringe Festival, this Red Eye production comes from a company that generally specializes in the avant-garde but makes the transition nicely to lighthearted farce with an arthouse undertone.
Emily Gunyou is a standout as the nasal Ms. Pink, and Cheryl Ronning tackles pivotal tough-gal Ms. White with a hint of Harvey Keitel's filmic thief with a heart of gold. Georgia Hallman lends a pleasing note of callousness to ringleader Jo Cabot.
The show appeals by smartly toning down the script's inherent shtick, and on the strength of not pretending to be more than it is: a 90-minute riff on what was partially satiric and self-referential in the first place. At least the original film kept a straight face; one hardly imagines where to start in sending up, say, "Kill Bill." The line between parody and self-parody can be hard to draw indeed.
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