Fury and Focus Fuel Knowâ€™s â€œGirl in the Red Cornerâ€ ï»¿
Posted On July 28, 2019
Review by Liz Eichler of â€œThe Girl in the Red Cornerâ€: Know Theatre
Know Theatreâ€™s ready to rumble!
With the theme â€œThe Fightâ€, Know appropriately opens their 22nd season with â€œGirl in the Red Corner.â€ Stephen Spotswoodâ€™s drama is the story of a gal fighting her demons, in and out of the octagon.Â
Tess Talbot stars as Halo, the recently divorced woman, now living with a mom who drinks too much, who regrets never going to college or applying herself inÂ highÂ school.Â Going from dead-end job to job, she finally gets up the courage to walk into a gym that trains MMA fighters. Because she needs to do it.
Halo is in the â€œfinding your powerâ€ stage of her life. Sheâ€™s not letting people take it from her, and like most women, itâ€™s a struggle. It becomes her mantra as she trains, punctuating each hit as people tell her who to be and what to think.
Her trainer is Gina, arrestingly played by AbigailÂ Esmena Foehle.Â Her intensity and focusÂ makeÂ herÂ aÂ standout and, coupled with her athleticism, you will 100% believe sheÂ is a real MMA fighter.Â
Jennifer Joplin plays multiple roles that demonstrate her amazing range, from an enthusiastic telemarketing trainer, to an MMA competitor, and to Haloâ€™s mom, who canâ€™t quite figure out her cell phone. MindyÂ HeithausÂ isÂ Haloâ€™s sisterÂ Brinn, and Adam Tran plays Haloâ€™s brother-in-law and the owner of the gym. Â Together they fight about raising a daughter, whose presence is felt through loud music.Â
While you may be familiar with similar stories on screen, it is amazing to see the moves up close in a theatre. These gals trained! K Jenny Jones is the Fight Director and the actors delivered. The set and lights (Andrew J. Hungerford) are a convincing padded octagon with arena lighting. Great sound from Doug Borntrager punctuating monologues and more. Costumes (Noelle Wedig-Johnson) are gym attire and authentic gear. Jeremy Pender is their MMA advisor, keeping them real. Director Tamara Winters brings it all together.
Halo shouts about being sexually harassed on the phone at her telemarketing job, and her brother-in- law, who held the same job, doesnâ€™t believe her. Because it never happened to him, it must not have happened. More fuel behind Haloâ€™s punches.
This play also highlights the difficult position of an aunt. A niece wants to connect with you, but mom wants to control that relationship. So do you keep connecting and being real with the teenager? If you do, that puts you in bad with your sister. If you donâ€™t, you lose trust with your niece. More fuel for Haloâ€™s kicks.
While the play may feel overwritten at times and underwritten at others, the show is worth seeing in an apparent city-wide season of women. Bring your significant other. Lure him in with the sports themeâ€”he may start to get the other stuff.
â€œGirl in the Red Cornerâ€ runs through August 17. Tickets are available at 513-300-KNOW.