Thursday, September 29, 2011

It's Raining Red Men

Red officially opened on Tuesday, with much fanfare and many red men roaming the streets of Chicago. If you missed your chance to see a red-clad gentlemen on your corner, savor our slideshow.

While our crimson friends were bringing merriment and candy to Chicagoans, back at the theater we were busy covering a couple canvases with the hand-prints of friends, fans, and local celebrities, including the cast of Red, Patrick Andrews and Edward Gero (below).

If you haven’t snatched your tickets yet to see Red do so now—we’ve just extended the run through October 30!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Breaking-Up the Seagram Murals

By Liz Rice, Education and Community Engagement Intern

John Logan’s Tony-winning play Red—a fictional account of two years in the life of Mark Rothko—is currently on stage in the Albert Theatre. If you haven’t purchased tickets do so now; not on will you experience awesome dramatic tension between two stellar actors, but you’ll also get to see live painting! And more. Meanwhile, today our education intern Liz Rice explores one of the mysteries behind the enigmatic artist and the paintings he labors over in Red.

Mark Rothko was a famously meticulous artist, consumed not only with creating perfection within his paintings but also with creating a perfect environment for his painting to exist within. To him, the environment his work was displayed in was equally as important as the paintings themselves—it provided context for how a work should be experienced by the viewer. In Red, John Logan’s Rothko extols:

"[The Seagram murals are] not alone. They’re a series, they’ll always have each other for companionship and protection…and most important they’re going into a place created just for them. A place of reflection and safety…Their power will transcend the setting, working together, moving in rhythm, whispering to each other, they will still create a place…"

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Chicago Guide to Red

By Charlie O' Malley, Literary and Dramaturgy Intern

While Red primarily explores the life and work of Mark Rothko, it also briefly mentions two of Rothko's celebrated contemporaries—Mies van der Rohe and Jackson Pollock, two artists whose work is featured prominently throughout Chicago. Today, we take a tour through the city to find local relics of these artistic luminaries.

Red, John Logan’s Tony-winning play which is currently playing in the Albert Theatre, explores the work of three major twentieth-century artists: Mies van der Rohe, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, all pioneers in their fields. In a city with a cultural heritage as rich as Chicago’s, it is no surprise that these artists are well-represented locally.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Final Days of Rehearsal for Red

In just two days Red begins performances in the Albert Theatre. The cast and creative team are busily spending the last few days of tech rehearsal perfecting every lighting, sound, and costume cue because, as of Saturday, the show goes live. Actor Edward Gero, who plays Mark Rothko in Red, has been blogging about his experience; check out his website for behind-the-scenes information and updates. Meanwhile, we’ve created a few rehearsal videos to whet your appetite for this weekend’s premiere; head over to our YouTube channel to check them out!

Red starts previews Saturday, September 17. Buy tickets here, or call the box office at 312.443.3800.

Photo by Liz Lauren.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How Rothko became Red

By Andrew E.T. Kron, Marketing Intern

This week marks the final week of rehearsal for
Red—John Logan’s account of two years in the life of artist Mark Rothko—which starts performances this Saturday, September 17. These last few weeks we’ve explored all manner of things Red—from the artists who influenced Rothko, to the restaurant at the heart of the play's plot—but today we’ll take a closer look at the artist himself, and examine how he went from being Marcus Rothkowitz, Russian intellectual, to Mark Rothko, the tormented Abstract Expressionist at the heart of an artistic movement.

Marcus Rothkowitz, born, September 1903.

Marcus, born in Dvinsk, Russia, migrated to the United States along with his family in 1913. Growing up in Portland, Oregon, the young boy was an intellectual to the utmost degree with a fervent passion for social, economic and political movements, much like his father. Based on his distinguished academic performance as a youth, Rothkowitz was accepted to Yale University in 1921 and seemingly had set up a life for himself of promise and fortune.

Mark Rothko, dead, February 1970.

Mark committed suicide on the kitchen floor of his home in New York City. He drank and smoked heavily, he lived through two tumultuous marriages, dealt with bouts of depression and he reviled modernism and all social aspects of the current and future culture. In a sense, Mark Rothko was just, red.

Somewhere along the way, Marcus Rothkowitz transformed into Mark Rothko.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Art, Architecture and Affluence on Park Avenue

By Teresa Rende, Education and Community Engagement Associate

Red, which opens the Albert season next Saturday, September 17, chronicles a two-year period in the life of artist Mark Rothko, as he labors on a series of murals commissioned for the opulent Four Seasons restaurant in the newly built Seagram Building. Today, Education and Community Engagement Associate Teresa Rende explores the elaborate design concept of this restaurant, and what led the planners to Mark Rothko.

In 1954 the Seagram Building was commissioned for the corporate headquarters of Seagram distillers. It was the perfect time for such a building, towering in its opulence, to make its way on to Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. The 1950s brought the corporate American lifestyle into the spotlight, laden with money to spend and affluence to flaunt, and buildings like the Seagram offered physical manifestations of economic prowess. Phyllis Lamber, the daughter of the Seagram’s director, Samuel Bronfman, became the director of planning after seeing her father’s initial architectural direction. Lambert, an architect herself, knew precisely where to turn for cutting-edge elegance. She commissioned Mies van der Rohe, a high-profile, modern architect and recent immigrant to the United States, to design the building with Philip Johnson. Van der Rohe’s pioneering style, paired with extremely fine construction materials, made the Seagram Building not only a marvel on opening day but also an icon of modern American architecture.