Red

Josh Logan, read by Alfred Molina and Jonathan Groff. L.A. Theatre Works, unabridged, download, 1,5 hrs., $6.95 ISBN 978-1-58081-933-6
Molina stars as abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko and Groff as Rothko’s assistant and errand boy Ken, in this Tony Award–winning play about the creation of Rothko’s ill-fated Seagram Murals. The process of doomed creation provides context for a series of dialogues about art and life between the mercurial Rothko and his naïve assistant. Molina shines as Rothko, the artist, anarchist, and iconoclast. Ken, an entirely fictional character, acts as the voice of modernity—and Groff effectively captures the essence of this evolving character. The changing relationship between the two characters and their eventual parting of ways foreshadows Rothko’s suicide in 1970. And while Rothko’s dark undercurrents are clear in Molina’s performance, the narrator provides nuanced characterization, revealing the complexities that make Rothko a figure of significance even today. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 03/31/2014
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