When: Feb. 15-March 1 2014

Blackbird Theater’s October 2012 production of John Logan’s Tony Award-winning play gained a lot of positive attention locally. That has not deterred Tennessee Repertory Theatre from putting its own distinctive stamp on the work a mere 16 months later. Fortunately, Logan’s portrait of abstract expressionist Mark Rothko, deep in the throes of creation — and self-absorption — is distinguished by many craggy angles that conspire to challenge theatergoers’ opinions of the man and his art. Hence, any reinterpretation should provide new sightlines for understanding the potent text, plus the chance to grapple yet again with key Rothko questions — about the development of his vision, his financial success as a painter, and what it’s like to be a renowned egomaniac complaining that your public doesn’t understand you. Chip Arnold gains studio center stage in this tour de force, with key support from Benjamin Reed as Rothko’s young assistant.

Martin Brady

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