Ridge Theatre co-founder Bob McGrath has teamed once again with MA's American Repertory Theatre -- and the results seem to be well-received. Charlie in the House of Rue, which opened April 1 for a run through April 25, has just been extended to May 2 at the Hasty Pudding Theatre.
In Charlie, based on Robert Coover's novel of the same name, Charlie Chaplin's Tramp character enters into a familiar setting, an opulent mansion, where he thinks he will raise his usual mischief. But the "House of Rue" turns the tables on Charlie, with consequences much darker than usual. The fun house turns into a torture chamber, where inhabitants exact their revenge on the Little Tramp, and the classic "damsel in distress" doesn't want to be saved.
The production features ART company members Thomas Derrah (Jackie: An American Life), Remo Airaldi, Alvin Epstein, Benjamin Evett, Caroline Hall, and Karen McDonald. Sets and slides are by Laurie Olinder and Fred Tietz, with film by frequent McGrath collaborator - Bill Morrison. Costumes are by Catherine Zuber, lighting by John Ambrosone, with sound design by Christopher Walker.
Founded in 1987, The Ridge Theatre has received acclaim and numerous awards for their experimental opera/theatre productions. The work, a conglomorate mix of contemporary opera and musical theatre, has been marked by the use of numerous media - projections, film, scrims to give new depth to the subtexts of their work.The company's recent works, Chaos at NY's Kitchen, and the world premiere of Mac Wellman's Damned Thing & Sandlewood Box, have, notably, been missing longtime Ridge Theatre collaborator, composer John Moran. Other productions include: The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari at ART, Alice in Bed at ART, Everyman Newt Burman!,
Jack Benny, For tickets or more information, call (617) 547-8300.
-- By Sean McGrath