Evanston actor helps update Pinter play
Soul Theatre at A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St., Chicago
7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, June 29-July 15
$20 ($10 day of show), $10 students and seniors
Visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/251297 for tickets, www.facebook.com/SoulTheatre for info about post-show events
Richard and Sarah decide to spice up their marriage in a most unusual way — with unexpected consequences — in Soul Theatre’s production of “The Lover” by Harold Pinter at A Red Orchid Theatre.
“They’ve been married for 10 years,” said Evanston resident Mick Weber, who plays the husband. “They have an extremely playful relationship.” That’s about all Weber can say about the pair without giving away a crucial plot twist.
“It’s a very sexy play,” Weber said. “It’s all about intimacy and sex, and how you come to terms with your spouse or your lover about those kinds of issues.”
The work also challenges the audience to figure out what’s factual and what’s fake. “The layers of ‘truth’ seem to be bottomless,” Weber said.
Weber noted that Richard and Sarah are dealing with very deep issues, “But they do it in such a way that it’s sort of teasing and fun,” he said. “It’s amazing how they take such serious issues and treat them in such a creative and nontraditional, thought-provoking way. It’s a very interesting thing to see.”
Weber’s numerous theater credits include productions in Chicago at Goodman, Court, Chicago Shakespeare, Writers’, Next, Victory Gardens and Chicago Dramatists theaters. In New York, Weber has performed at Circle Rep, Players Theatre, Soho Rep and Rattlestick. He also has regional credits at several major theaters.
It’s a little surprising to see the veteran actor performing in a tiny theater space for a company that last did a full production in 2005. But Weber is excited about the opportunity.
“I’m thrilled to be working with them,” the actor said. “They were doing some very well-received work five or six years ago. It’s really exciting to be in the re-launch of the theater.”
And performing in a tiny space actually seems right for Weber. “When I was starting out as a young actor, I was part of a theater group that had a performance space not unlike Red Orchid’s,” he said. “For me, it’s a little like coming home.”
Soul Theatre founder Ravi Batista, who plays the wife, has scheduled eight free post-show events that explore the issues addressed in the play in a most unusual way.
These include lessons in belly dance, finger cymbal patterns and basic drumming to explore Middle Eastern music’s sensual side (Friday, July 13); a discussion called “40 & Over Sex Secrets” by the manager of Chicago’s The Pleasure Chest (Friday, June 29); and an exploration of communications in relationships (Sunday, July 1) and sex (Saturday, July 14) with family therapist Bridget Gregory.
There will also be a chance to indulge in gourmet chocolates while learning about meditation and yoga practices that can enhance your love life (Thursday, July 5); a discussion of the correlation between food and sex with nutrition therapy practitioner Michelle Gillespie (Saturday, July 7); and a program entitled “Sex, Dating & Relationships” with life coach Katy Flatau and meditation teacher Andrea Klunder (Thursday, July 12).
“Ravi is a very passionate and creative woman,” Weber said. “She’s been thinking about this production for a while. She’s full of ideas.”
Weber believes that the post-show events are a way of taking the issues of this 1962 British play “and talking about it in a very contemporary way.”
As for the actor’s involvement with the eight sessions, he laughingly reported, “I think I’m going to stay for all of those.”