The Route 66 Theatre Company presents
A TWIST OF WATER
At Mercury Theatre, 3745 N. Southport
Written by Caitlin Montanye Parrish
Co-created and directed by Erica Weiss
Thursdays at 7:30
Fridays at 8pm
Saturdays at 4pm and 8pm
Sundays at 4pm
EXTENDED Thru June 26th
Running Time: Two hours and twenty minutes includes an intermission
Reviewed by Katy Walsh
Fire, riots, scandals! Over the decades, disastrous moments has threatened to destroy Chicago forever. With an unflappable resilience, Chicago rises from the ashes to give the world Ferris wheels, Blues, pizza, the Super Bowl shuffle and the 44th President. When tragedy strikes a history teacher, he draws strength from the Windy City on Lake Michigan. The Route 66 Theatre Company presents A TWIST OF WATER. After a successful sold-out run at Theatre Wit, A TWIST OF WATER has re-opened for a limited engagement at the Mercury Theater. Richard is killed in a car accident. His untimely death damages his family. He is survived by a life partner of twenty-five years and a seventeen year old daughter but their home is in ruins. Jira resents her surviving father. And Noah, the living dad, is starting to resent her. She disappears for hours, refuses to talk and wants to find her birth mother. When catastrophe strikes how do you rebuild on a shaky foundation? A TWIST OF WATER divides and inspires a family and a city.
Caitlin Montanye Parrish writes an original and loving tribute to the Second City. With the help of co-creator and Director Erica Weiss, Chicago has a well-deserved starring role in this show. The stage’s backdrop has magnificent visual projections (Designer John Boesche) of the city’s history rippled in with water imagery. The montage of the city’s births, deaths and resurrections is a stunning cycle of despair and hope. Stef Tovar (Noah) narrates the Windy City chronicle. Tovar continues to effectively step out of the role of frustrated parent and into confident teacher. The contrast is impressive. As the dad, Tovar’s voice quivers with anxiety and anguish for the love of a daughter. As the historian, he is delightfully matter-of-fact for the love of his city.
Tovar and the female cast members have exhausting moments of vulnerability. Each breakdown in heartbreaking misery over the inevitable epiphany: they have no control over life tragedies. Falashay Pearson (Jira) plays rebellious, thoughtless teen perfectly slap-worthy. Then, Pearson endears with desperate angst to connect to her family. Lili-Anne Brown (Tia) is authentically out-of-control of her emotions. Within her short show stint, she expresses it all with genuine sincerity. In the family’s perfect storm of emotions, Alex Hugh Brown (Liam) is a comedy relief buoy. A fellow teacher, Brown mocks students in the cafeteria with hilarious side jokes as he ‘watches his stories.’ Brown deadpans one liners with full-on bitchy queen zing. Even in his charming, sweet flirtations with Tovar, Brown uses his height to get a laugh. And he gets it! I’m pretty sure I laughed out loud 90% of the time Brown was on stage!
It’s a second chance to drink in A TWIST OF WATER. This WATER runs deep with comedy bridging the drama. And it’s one more reason to be proud of living in Chicago… original theatrical productions!
Choosing Chicago over his California roots, Tom describes it with ‘soulful history lesson.’
Production photography by Brandon Dahlquist.