A play of twelve subterranean scenes, REDBIRD is a
modern urban tale that weaves a tapestry of contemporary stories, legends
and archetypes. Set exclusively in the New York City subway system at
different hours of the day, the setting is both background and foreground,
both circumstance and catalyst.
With a gifted team of actors to enliven the vignettes,
REDBIRD explodes into a theatrical work that is alternately uproarious
and morose, and most things in between. While the ensemble pieces are almost
entirely more satisfying and better constructed than the solos, the
one-person pieces do give the actors the chance to showcase their respective
A virtual romance with the underground, REDBIRD,
as envisioned by author Chapman, is a place where hopeful artists, maimed
homeless, religious pilgrims, lost souls and horny passengers can exist in
an unlikely, yet relative harmony. One of the best scenes depicts the subway
as a mechanical Moby Dick, and a mad beggar (Abe Goldfarb) as a latter day
Ahab. Quite inventive stuff, this.
While at two hours with no intermission REDBIRD is
a tad too long, it is not an unpleasant ride. If you have yet to set the
burgeoning Studio 42 in action, here’s a great chance.
- Kessa De Santis -