Monday, January 16, 2012

Review of Opus at Redtwist Theatre


Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Opus. Opus sounds like a made up word, but it means a piece of music. I think they called it Opus because they were always working on music. Opus is about a four-string quartet who is getting ready to play for the president. I know it isn't Obama, because Obama is a very great president and the president in the play was not the best president. Somebody isn't there and this nice girl is in place of this man named Dorian (Paul Dunckel). Dorian was not a very responsible person because he has problems, and he didn't really like the music that they wanted to do, so that was really tough for them. They are used to having Dorian there and not Grace (Emily Tate) there. She has to learn the song as fast as she can, but it is not easy to learn a song lickety-split.

I've never been to Redtwist. I think it is a small theater, but a very cozy theater. It makes you feel like you are in a little mouse nook. I felt like I was actually part of the show because we were so close to the stage--and on the stage almost. It makes everybody feel like they are in the show, like they are a certain character watching what is happening.

They didn't really play music. They just faked it because none of the people in show could play the violin as good as the characters in the show. The characters are very talented players. I think it was a good idea to fake, so the actors wouldn't have to learn all the songs and they could spend more time with their child, wife, mother, sister, brother, or husband or something like that. They did do a pretty good job of the faking. Everybody knew they weren't actually doing it, but everybody felt like they were actually playing.

One of my favorite scenes was when the men were talking about their teacher and how good he was because they said a sentence one...word...at...a...time. It was really funny because people actually don't say one...word...at...a...time. The teacher said stuff like, "It is like two bows playing one instrument" in an accent that was kind of Russian but kind of French. And people would just keep saying, "I think the teacher was Russian, I think the teacher was Czech, I think the teacher was Hungarian" because nobody could actually tell what country he was from or city or whatever.


There was a funny scene where Grace came to the practice at Alan's (John Ferrick) house. And she was inside and Alan had not even woken up yet. So he came out in his bathrobe and she was asking why they were all so late. And then she looked at the clock and she said, "Oh my gosh, I'm two hours early!" because she had set her clock wrong for the wrong time. She asked for so many different kinds of tea, like Lemon Zing and Red Zinger, but he didn't have any of them. All he had was something that looks like tea but might have been marijuana or just very very very very bad tea. If she had been drinking marijuana, it would been illegal and she could have been arrested. This teaches you to not drink any sort of drugs because they taste disgusting.

The scene where Elliot (Michael Sherwin) and Dorian were talking about how they met was really awesome and cool because on each side there was one of them and they kept going back and forth telling the same story. Their teacher told them to play a song together and it sounded so beautiful that they became very good friends. They are kind of like brothers, but they are not because they don't have the exact same mother or the exact same father or both. They are like brothers because they know each other for such a long time and they are always together and they are roommates. And being a roommate can make you feel like you are a brother or a sister to someone. But they weren't brother and sister. They were kind of in love, but not exactly because they broke up. I think it was a little sad that they broke up because it actually seemed like they loved each other a lot when they were talking about how they met.

My favorite of all favorite scenes was the scene where all the audience sit and tremble in their seats because they broke a violin. WAH Wah wah. WAH Wah wah stands for not very good at all. When they broke the violin, my mom held my hand as tight as she could. And I felt a little scared myself, even though I am a reviewer, because I have a violin in the house, and I play it, and I do not want to break my very own violin. The violin in the show was so beautiful and shiny and super special because its name was Lazara, the name of the person that made it and of the quartet. I think Carl (Brian Parry) broke the violin because he was dying and he didn't think they could do shows without him. I think he smashed it for three reasons--one I already told you about. Another is because Elliot and Dorian should not have been fighting over a violin that was rightfully Dorian's because he got it himself from one of his mother's friends. They were fighting over the violin because it was so pretty and the sound sounded very nice. The other reason is because they might have given Carl a medicine that would make him go cuckoo because it might make him survive the disease.

I think this show should be for ages 6 and up. People who like string instruments, Beethoven, and drama would like this show. It gives you what practicing actually looks like. People don't usually get to see rehearsals because players (Shakespeare word!) are usually just doing the rehearsals by themselves. It is important because you can understand a show better than you normally can if you go to see the rehearsal and the show as well. It made me understand the show and the music better because they showed you what a rehearsal for Opus the play and Opus 131 the Beethoven looked like by showing what actual rehearsal looks like.

Photos: Christopher Burpee

1 comment:

radiofreeanne said...

Thank you, Ada! We may go see this now, thanks to your savvy reviewing. The show looks great, and I enjoyed your description of the theater being like a mouse-nook. That's my favorite kind of coziness.