When Amadeus closes this weekend at Round House Theatre, its leads set off on very different paths. Sasha Olinick, who plays the audacious genius Amadeus, goes into rehearsal as Toad in Wind in the Willows at Imagination Stage, which opens June 22nd. Sure to be another fun role for Olinick, the press release promises “reckless driving, police chases, prison breaks, and even a little cross-dressing.”
Edward Gero, this week the brooding Antonio Salieri in Amadeus, leaves for Chicago this summer to play another artist, this time the painter Mark Rothko. He will join the cast of the Tony Award-winning Red by Chicago playwright John Logan at Goodman Theatre, playing opposite Patrick Andrews as Rothko’s assistant, Ken.
Goodman describes the play: “Full-blooded and visceral, the Tony Award-winning Red takes you into the mind of abstract expressionist Mark Rothko, for whom paintings are “pulsating” life forces and art is intended to stop the heart. Red chronicles the tormented painter’s two year struggle to complete a lucrative set of murals for Manhattan’s exclusive Four Seasons restaurant, and his fraught relationship with a seemingly naïve young assistant, who must choose between appeasing his mentor and changing the course of art history. Set amid the swiftly-changing cultural tide of the early 1960s, Red is a startling snapshot of a brilliant artist at the height of his fame, a play hailed as “intense and exciting” by the New York Times.
Under the direction of Robert Falls, Red will be Goodman Theatre’s season opener, starting September 17, 2011. Happily for Washington area audiences, Arena Stage brings the production to its Kreeger Theatre in the Mead Center for American Theater January 20, 2012.
“To say that I am excited by the challenge of wrestling with this fiercely intelligent play and deeply complex character of Mark Rothko would be an understatement,” Edward Gero is quoted in the press release. “To have the opportunity to do so at two of America’s greatest theaters—the Goodman and Arena Stage—defies description. I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and dig in.”