Fantastic evening, lots of fun, and a talented cast. Enjoyable, apparently, for all ages present: college students through seniors. The audience participation was unusual and quite well done.
I attended the show last night and left feeling anything but "bleak, dirty, and unfulfilled." The same was true for all of those with whom I watched the play. The reviewer is right to warn about the gritty, risque elements, but wrong to put them front-and-center. This play is not for anyone who can't see past those superficial ornaments, including, evidently, the reviewer herself.
What the point of it all is, is a good question, and one not simply to be dismissed off-hand. The characters behave in profoundly irrational, self-destructive ways. As do we all, to some extent. Why is Christina in love with a man who is clearly (and more clearly as things progress) a despicable human being? Why does she turn to him after establishing a genuine and tender connection with his friend and rival? Who knows! But we've seen it enough in the real world to know that it is more than plausible. Every human struggles with a conflict between reason and uncontrollable emotional impulses; this play as a case study in that conflict.
The play is long, but to me and my companions, did not seem so. The tempo was excellent. The pauses were full of tension, maintained well by a cast who is adept at building suspense. Also, this reviewer mentions "moments of humor." Actually, gauging by the number of times the audience laughed out loud, I would say that humor (black humor, admittedly) was the dominant ambience of the play. That is a crucial point, and this humor helps tremendously in making the three-hour play a pleasure rather than a long, arduous slog.
If you are open-minded enough to see past the items mentioned, disappointingly, in the first paragraph of this review, Red Light Winter is well worth your time.
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