Chicago Theatre Review
The Curvature of a Circle
9 Circles – Sideshow
Private Daniel Reeves (played by Andrew Goetten) is a troubled youth who joined the ranks of the United States Army to seek a change in his life. Cain’s 9 Circles, journeys us through the life of Private Reeves, post honorable discharge from the war in Iraq, as he awaits his judgment due to hideous war crimes.
The best way to visualize 9 Circles, and I apologize a head of time for the reference, is to think of a parabola. Yes, I do mean a parabola, as in calculus. A parabola is a two-dimensional curve, which is typically U-shaped. In conjunction to the parabola, Goetten and the Lieutenant, played by the physically intimidating Jude Roche, start the show off on a high note with the discharge of Pvt. Reeves. Roche and Goetten have such ease with the dialogue and precision with their characters, the both of them give the show a strong start.
Unfortunately, like the parabola, 9 Circles begins its steady decline with the next scene, or “circle” as it is called. While Amanda Powell and Andy Luther, who both play a variety of roles, add much exposition, they both lack energy and confidence with their characters in the initial scenes.
The curve of our parabola continues as we hit the trough, the lowest point, halfway through the show. At this point it seems as if the dialogue was added just for time sake. Making the delivery between Goetten and Roche nearly unbearable. By the end of the scene the director, Marti Lyons, does salvage that “circle.” Igniting the play with enough momentum to make the climb back up the other side of the parabola.
Director Marti Lyons truly leads this ensemble through the parabola, bringing this closely knit cast to their highest peak. Lyons was able to bring a unity to this piece that seems to be missing from many other works produced in the storefront scene. This unity, I believe, comes from the heartfelt, justified performance of Andrew Goetten, who does an incredibly convincing Texas dialect as well, and the outstandingly detailed light design by Mac Vaughey. 9 Circles is definitely worth the generous $15 ticket price.
Review by: Dan Haymes
SideShow Theatre Company’s production of 9 Circles is playing now through Sunday October 6th 2013
At The DCASE Storefront Theater located at 66 E. Randolph st in Chicago.
Playwright: Bill Cain
Director: Marti Lyons
For more information about 9 Circles and other shows, please visit www.theatreinchicago.com