"In God's Hat" (Profiles Theatre): Exactly what Profiles does best

"In God's Hat" (Profiles Theatre): Exactly what Profiles does best

Profiles Theatre presents the Midwest premiere of IN GOD’S HAT.

This show kicks off Profiles’ 25th Anniversary Season.  Throughout this performance, my resonating thought was IN GOD’S HAT is pure Profiles.  It’s an edgy drama with bursts of dark comedy about the underbelly of society. The portrayal of humanity is both disgusting and endearing.   Anchored by Director and co-Artistic Director Joe Jahraus and Actor and co-Artistic Director Darrell W. Cox, IN GOD’S HAT is exactly what Profiles does best… for twenty-five years now.

Long-time fans of Profiles will notice an immediate difference in this show.  There is live music.  IN GOD’S HAT is Profiles in stereo!  A band plays classic rock pre-curtain.  And then they are the audio element of the scene transitions.  Under Music Director Jeffrey Levin, the music, featuring guitars, keyboard, fiddle, harmonica, is a perfect soundtrack to the drama.  Just like in the movies, the tunes change the tone for an uh-oh-something-bad-is-going-down warning.  The sound is a cross between chain-gang blues and Hell’s Angels rock.

Playwright Rhett Rossi wrote about two brothers reunited after 10 years.  One has done time. The other has stood still.  As they grapple over their past and present life messes, more trouble comes knocking at the door.  Jahraus masterfully unfolds the angst-riddled drama.  Cox (Roy) and Larry Neumann, Jr. (Mitch) play it perfectly awkward as the two brothers unsure of their relationship.  Later, as Cox rages, Neumann placates.  Cox continually implodes and Neumann tries to soothe him with matter-of-fact honesty. There is a genuine, yet frayed, bond between them.  Within all the dysfunctional chaos, there is a tender moment between the brothers that is unforgettably touching.

A tattooed John Victor Allen brings the fear factor.  Physically, he looks like the last person anyone would want to encounter alone.  Allen’s tough guy appearance hilariously contrasts with his chatty and formal delivery.  While using Roy’s phone, the uninvited Allen gestures to Cox to bring him a third beer…hysterical!  Another seedy element is Bruce Cronander.  More refined and elegant than Allen, Cronander still reeks of foul play.  He delivers his message with sinister sophistication. These guys are bad!  Which one is worse?  Rossi’s writing and Jahraus‘ directing keep us guessing until the very end.

IN GOD’S HAT is not for everyone.  It’s violent.  It’s tense.  It’s gross (nod out to Makeup Consultant Jessica Honor Carleton on Neumann’s nose).  It’s Profiles!  They are kicking off their next 25 years with the gritty, visceral acting that we have come to expect.

Running Time:  Ninety minutes with no intermission

On The Main Stage, 4139 N. Broadway

Written by Rhett Rossi

Directed by Joe Jahraus

Thursdays, Fridays at 8pm

Saturdays at 5pm and 8pm

Sundays at 7pm

Thru October 13th

Buy Tickets at www.profilestheatre.org

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