RED LODGE, MONTANA (The Antidote): 2019 Fringe review

41Red-Lodge-MontanaWith a stealth opening, it starts before it starts. Cast members hang out and director Michael Osinski is on hand talking to one of the actors. They are creating a take on Twin Peaks. Max Steiner’s A Summer Place plays saccharinely sweet in the background as a languorous, balletic counter man (Anthony Crosby) smokes and talks to an acquaintance (Terrill Braswell) and pours coffee (actually water) for two customers (Kelly McCaughan and Megan Edelman). A suspicious-looking purported FBI man (Josh Hitchens) stays off to the side, keeping his eye on the counter man. A disturbing cowboy wannabe (Geremy Webne-Behrman) enters. Later Amanda Schoonover, who is two people, delivers a stunning, hideous monologue-to-die-for.

The audience is moved about to various basement locations to witness the action as scenes change. Things become uncomfortable when uncanny lighting and sounds (Sydney Norris, Daniel Ison) play against rough and raw activity, toying with horror before the actual horror.

This is a David Lynch situation. In a Lynchian plot you’re presented with something you don’t quite understand. You strive to make sense of it, trying to connect any dots available to be connected. At times the show is atmospheric, at times quick and show-bizzy, and at other times turgid as plate tectonics.
The performance takes place within the unattractive concrete bowels of the humongous Fascist-Deco BOK Building.

With a bizarro fusion of indolence, violence, nudity, sex, and dance, The Antidote’s Red Lodge, Montana is a cross between entertainment and an ordeal. I’ll take it. Ordeal and all, it’s an adventure.

[BOK, 800 Mifflin Street] September 7–15, 2019;

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