Chicago Plays Itself: A Review of Red Bowl at the Jeffs at The Sound | Newcity Stage
RECOMMENDED In contrast to the bigness of the screen, the tragedy of the stage is often inversely related to the smallness of the quest at hand. The search for a cup of rice or a lost piece of jewelry can be far more spiritually and emotionally engaging than the monolithic pursuit of Olympic gold or the Presidency. In Beth Hyland's "Red Bowl at the Jeffs" the quest is, relatively speaking, modest: a still-young storefront theater company has been nominated and hopes to win a non-equity Jeff Award for Best Ensemble. It is, in many ways, the opposite of abstraction: either they will win or they will not. However, in Hyland's hands, the drama of making drama becomes affectingly connected to a deeper longing for meaning, structure and fulfillment, each more tenuous and evasive than the last. Anyone who has spent time in and around the Chicago theater community knows that there is as much, if not far more, to laugh about as there is to cry about. Art-making is easily conflated with meaning