NUNN'S THEATER HABIT
Wolves bite at the hand that feeds
Thu. October 12, 2023 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn
Redtwist Theatre is celebrating Pride during LGBT History Month with the debut of its 19th season production called Wolves. It's based on the fairytale Little Riding Hood and writer Steve Yockey has put a queer spin on it.
The story follows the new relationship of Ben, portrayed by Joshua Servantez, and Jack, played by Gary Gilbert, who live together. Jack wants to stray away and meets a wolf in sheep's clothing skillfully played by Michael Dias.
Monique Marshaun is the narrator who speaks directly to the audience and with an intimate setting such as the 1044 West Bryn Mawr space, this can be a bit jarring and uncomfortable.
There is hardly a scrap of chemistry between Ben and Jack at this point in their relationship making one wonder why they would be together in the first place. Ben is a homebody and wants to watch Stanley Kubrick movies while Jack wants to go outside and play.
Jack is unlikable as he still leaves his ex-partner to have fun after things turn physical, which loses any sympathy for the character. Not even orange chicken can tempt him to stay in.
Ben is paranoid and unhinged as a product of anxiety about scary things outside. Who is the victim in this piece? Some questions will remain unanswered as this wolf doesn't howl the way it should at times. The blame for this lies more on the writing than the performers though.
There is an interesting story somewhere in the script about people living together well after the shelf life of a relationship, but this one gets lost in the woods.
It's refreshing to see more complicated queer stories reflected on the stage out in the world and representation is important. Wolves joins that pack and if this is your style then I encourage you to see Saltburn, the centerpiece movie for the 59th Chicago International Film Festival.
The short running time of Wolves is 75 minutes with no intermission lands perfectly to tell the tale. The set is kept sparse with spooky lighting. Keep in mind there are splatter zones and moments of abuse in this production with warning messages posted. Watch your step while exiting to avoid a bloody spill
Redtwist goes somewhere over the rainbow in the future with two new shows Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart and Jacqueline Goldfinger's Bottle Fly. For tickets visit RetwistTheatre.org.