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AstonRep’s “The Dumb Waiter” and “In the Moment” Review- Superb Acting and Scripts

By Amy Munice

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AstonRep Theatre Company’s presentation of Harold Pinter’s “The Dumb Waiter” with companion piece “In the Moment” by Jeff Helgeson will only have three more performances on January 31, February 7 and February 14.  Try to make one of them. 

 

Part of the Rhinoceros Fringe Festival, “In the Moment” is a new script that takes us from “The Dumb Waiter” springboard into a humorous reflection on what theater is.   An able hand by directors Adrian Balbontin and Robert Tobin is clearly at work

 

First and foremost, these two plays give us the definition that theater is a showcase of acting talent.  The two actors who perform these two one-acts, Rory Jobst and Tim Larson (and a cameo by Sara Pavlak), not only time their many Pinter pauses with perfection but then seamlessly take us into the real-time world of “In the Moment” where we see these actors as real people—almost.  It’s still scripted and what a delightful script it is.

 

You will leave Prop Theatre where this is staged with ear-to-ear smiles and some thoughts to chew on without all-you-can-eat buffet excess.

 

 

Each year, Curious Theatre Branch curates and produces the Rhinoceros Theater Festival, which provides production and exhibition opportunities to hundreds of artists, drawing thousands in attendance annually.

 

 

The longest-running fringe festival in Chicago, the Rhino features works in theater and performance from Chicago companies and national artists alike.  

 

 

First organized in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, the RhinoFest is unique among national fringe festivals in that artists are never charged a fee to participate, and each year its programs are individually curated rather than selected on a lottery basis.  

 

 

There are over 100 performances in the RhinoFest this year, which runs through February 23.  Tickets are $15 or pay what you can at the door; $12 in advance online.

 

 

If you are a fan of the likes of nationally-known well established venues like The Steppenwolf or Chicago Shakespeare, going for a reminder of how Chicago’s small theaters are the ones that really make the city’s theater scene sizzle is a healthy thing to do.  You’ll have a lot more fun though than eating the proverbial spinach.

 

For tickets and information visit the Rhino Festival website.  Also for tickets the remaining performances of “The Dumb Waiter” and “In the Moment” and other performances at Prop Thtr call 773 508 – 0666.

 

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Lead Photo of Pinter play courtesy of AstonRep Theatre Company

All other photos courtesy of Rhinofest unless otherwise indicated.

Published on Jan 18, 2014

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