OFF BEAT

OFFBEAT: Redtwist Theatre's 'Elemeno Pea' a sizzling satire of wealth

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2014-01-07T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Redtwist Theatre's 'Elemeno Pea' a sizzling satire of wealthBy Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

The play title "Elemeno Pea" is a hidden jewel created as a subtle clue revealed by Molly Smith Metzler in her wonderful work about the world of the rich and the price-tag associated with status symbols.

Directed by Goodman Theatre Artistic Associate Steve Scott, Redtwist Theatre, the intimate stage space on Chicago's northside, has a fantastic new production of the comedy-infused drama enjoying a Chicago premiere with one final weekend of performances.

Humana Festival's runaway hit play from 2011 is the hilarious scathing satire on money and class in post-modern America and features company members Michael Sherwin as a snobby ne'er-do-well and Johnny Garcia as a grumbling estate caretaker in supporting roles

"Elemeno Pea" centers around two sisters whose relationship unravels after older sister Devon, a "regular Buffalo New York" gal, visits her impressed-with-wealth sister Simone, who works as a personal assistant for a very rich, pampered woman on Martha's Vineyard. Simone, played beautifully pie-eyed and impressed by labels and possessions by talented actress Elizabeth Argus, gets her hefty six-figure salary for serving the super-rich and feels she has found paradise. A visit by sister Devon, played with an sense of wonderment and sarcastic amazement by Carley Moseley, thinks her brainwashed sister is selling her soul. Directed letter-perfect by Scott, add to this financial formula a surprise visit by trying-too-hard socialite employer Michaela, a role now being played by wonderful Melonie Collman for the final performances, and revelations are revealed to the surprise of everyone concerned, especially an unsuspecting audience.

The entire 90-minute, no intermission play is set in the guesthouse of the estate. From Olivia Leah Baker's detailed costume design to the fun and fascinating set created  by Ross G. Hoppe, this is a stage story with a pay-off that leaves audiences entertained and discussing everything that unfolds for hours and days after the final cast bows.

Remaining performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25 Thursdays and $30 Friday, Saturday and Sundays, with $5 discount for students and senior citizens. There's also plenty of affordable meter parking at this storefront theater venue. FYI: (773) 728-7529 or redtwist.org. Redtwist Theatre is located at 1044 W Bryn Mawr Ave. in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago. It's recommended to reserve tickets 48 hrs in advance with credit cards accepted by phone and online to guarantee seating.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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