Red Velvet

December 1, 2017

January 21, 2018

CST's Courtyard Theater

by Lolita Chakrabarti
directed by Gary Griffin

Critical Acclaim

"A fascinating character study of Aldridge. Johnstone’s performance is both accomplished and moving…it really makes you feel the pain inflicted on the actor by such unfair reviews, judgments made before the actor had so much as opened his mouth."

"A valuable exploration of a man who in many ways was ahead of his time. Johnstone’s performance is particularly remarkable for the way he makes the transition from a handsome, immensely self-confident young man possessed of a notable sense of freedom (and a theatrical daring he refuses to temper) to an old man whose life on the road has taken a toll."

"Stunning…an amazing and powerful interpretation. This one is a MUST SEE, in particular for theater-lovers and of course, those who adore Shakespeare. We all expect top-notch at Chicago Shakespeare Theater and once again, they have delivered!"

"Tells a moving story about a complex man, one who’s more than worth remembering. The play serves as a reminder that, despite our perception that we are living in a more enlightened age, prejudices persist even today. They may not be quite as out in the open as they were in Aldridge’s time, but continue as an undercurrent in nearly every aspect of society."

"Johnstone displays remarkable command of language and physicality, and he makes smart, razor-sharp choices from beginning to end…It’s easy to quickly become a fan ter seeing the incredible range he displays in Red Velvet."

"A force in his own right and a blessing to the Bard, Dion Johnstone gives his anguished Aldridge the immediacy that history demands. Chakrabarti’s script drives home the unavoidable isolation of an unintended forerunner. With Griffin characteristically extracting gold from every scene, Johnstone and supporting pillars are at the top of their bent."

"Magnificent...Johnstone captured the very essence of Aldridge to where you believe you have traveled back into history to witness this dramatic performance of this gifted actor. Brings a true realism of acting at Theatre Royal in an intimate setting for the audience."

"A tour de force… Johnstone connects the dots between the passionate pride of Aldridge’s charismatic younger self and the sarcasm of the grizzled lion in winter. An excellent production."

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