×

The Red Address

Mix "Glengarry Glen Ross" with "Glen or Glenda" and the result might be something like David Ives' "The Red Address." A tough-talking drama that mixes business sharks, blackmail, cross-dressing and murder, "Address" wants to say something about the nature of manhood but totters as awkwardly as a burly actor in red satin heels.

With:
Cast: Kevin Anderson (E.G. Triplett), Ned Eisenberg (Dick), Welker White (Ann/Waitress/Prostitute), Jon DeVries (Driver), Cady McClain (Lady), Josh Hopkins (Soldier/Maitre d').

Mix “Glengarry Glen Ross” with “Glen or Glenda” and the result might be something like David Ives’ “The Red Address.” A tough-talking drama that mixes business sharks, blackmail, cross-dressing and murder, “Address” wants to say something about the nature of manhood but totters as awkwardly as a burly actor in red satin heels.

The play begins almost as a parody of David Mamet’s “Glengarry,” with two obscenity-spewing businessmen lamenting the arrival in town of a new (and possibly mob-connected) competitor. E.G. Triplett (Kevin Anderson) is the owner of a successful milk distributorship in an unidentified town, but his day and his business are about to go sour as his faithful (though jittery) associate Dick (Ned Eisenberg) suggests that the mysterious new rival named Driver has underworld ties.

Those fears are heightened when Driver (Jon DeVries), a cowboy-suited cutthroat with a limp and a menacing Southern drawl, arrives at Triplett’s office with a $5 million deal. “You can go into business with me,” Driver says, “or you can go out of business.”

The play soon takes one of several abrupt turns as the wheeler-dealing gives way to a bedroom encounter between E.G. and his loving Southern belle of a wife named Lady (Cady McClain). Attempting to soothe her man after a trying day, Lady purrs, “Would you like to go to the red address?,” the couple’s code for cross-dressing. Heels, lace panties, black nylons and a red dress brighten E.G.’s mood considerably.

But is E.G.’s secret safe? Driver begins dropping hints that he knows what’s what, setting E.G.’s personal and professional lives on a collision course. Then another of the play’s turns: a violent murder that has absolutely nothing to do with the previous plotlines, described in gratuitous detail in a monologue by a character who has no other relevance to the play.

The point of the brutal diversion is as unclear as the rest of “The Red Address.” The business intrigue comes to naught, the cross-dressing dilemma takes an even more melodramatic (and unconvincing) turn, and we’re left to wonder what all this angst has been for. Director Pamela Berlin draws good performances from the cast (although every last accent seems forced), but even an actress as appealing as Welker White can’t give credibility to some of Ives’ hokier dialogue. As a hard-boiled (and ludicrously judgmental) prostitute, White has to say “buster” and “pal” while dropping references to Lucretia Borgia.

For a play that prattles on about fate and inevitability, “The Red Address” goes nowhere. “What am I hurting by wearing this?” asks E.G. in his red frock, the likeliest answer being Ives’ growing reputation, buster.

Popular on Variety

The Red Address

McGinn-Cazale Theater, New York; 108 seats; $37.50 top

Production: A Second Stage Theater presentation of a play in one act by David Ives. Directed by Pamela Berlin. Set, Christine Jones.

Creative: Costumes, David C. Woolard; lighting, Donald Holder; sound, John Kilgore; production stage manager, Susan Whelan. Opened, reviewed Jan. 13, 1997. Running time: 1 HOUR, 40 MIN.

Cast: Cast: Kevin Anderson (E.G. Triplett), Ned Eisenberg (Dick), Welker White (Ann/Waitress/Prostitute), Jon DeVries (Driver), Cady McClain (Lady), Josh Hopkins (Soldier/Maitre d').

More Legit

  • Mark Rylance Oscars 2016

    'Bridge of Spies' Actor Mark Rylance Leads Union Drive for Coronavirus Relief Donations

    U.K. entertainment industry union Equity has pledged £1 million ($1.2 million) to support its members who have been affected by the pandemic-induced industry shutdown. Equity is asking for more donations, stating that the vast majority of its 47,000 members earn modest sums and do not have savings as a fall-back option. The appeal for further [...]

  • Directors Coronavirus

    Economic Package For Freelancers Elicits Mixed Response From U.K. Industry

    The long-awaited economic measures for the self-employed revealed by U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak on Thursday have elicited mixed response from the film and TV industry’s predominantly freelance workforce. Self-employed individuals can claim 80% of their average income over the last three years up to £2,500 ($3,000) a month, which is taxable. To [...]

  • The Inheritance review

    Critic’s Notebook: The Night Before Broadway Went Dark

    Let me preface this by saying the story I’m about to tell is not the smartest thing I’ve ever done. Two weeks ago, I rushed to New York City to catch “The Inheritance” before it closed on Broadway. I’d been tracking the play by Matthew Lopez — a multigenerational, six-and-a-half-hour monument that resurrects E.M. Forster [...]

  • Mark Blum dead

    Mark Blum, 'Desperately Seeking Susan' Star, Dies From Coronavirus Complications

    Actor Mark Blum, who appeared in “Desperately Seeking Susan,” “Crocodile Dundee” and the TV series “You,” has died due to complications from coronavirus. He was 69. The Playwrights Horizons theater group and SAG-AFTRA executive vice president Rebecca Damon confirmed the news on Thursday. It is with such deep sorrow that I’m writing to share the news [...]

  • U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi

    U.K. Chancellor Announces Emergency Measures for Freelancers

    The U.K. has finally announced an economic relief package for freelancers not in employment after much of the country’s creative industries shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced a new self-employed income support scheme on Thursday. Self-employed individuals can claim 80% of their average income over the last three [...]

  • Celia Keenan-Bolger73rd Annual Tony Awards, Show,

    Tony Awards Postponed Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

    The Tony Awards are the latest industry event to be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The American Theatre Wing, which backs the show, announced on Wednesday that the 74th edition of the annual celebration of the best of theater will be pushed back indefinitely. The ceremony was originally scheduled to air live on CBS, [...]

  • Debra Messing Golden Globes

    'Caroline, Or Change,' 'Birthday Candles' Postpone Broadway Runs Due to Coronavirus

    Roundabout Theatre Company is moving its hotly anticipated revival of “Caroline, Or Change” to the fall, as well as its upcoming production of “Birthday Candles” with Debra Messing. The shifts are an acknowledgment of a painful reality. Theaters in New York City have been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic and with the rate of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content