a red orchid theatre

Directed by Shade Murray

At A Red Orchid Theatre, Chicago

Laughs abound in the subversive comedy – Trevor

Nick Jones is a clever writer know for his quirky subject matter and his Trevor sure fits that mold. It is a dark comedy that centers on a chimpanzee played by the game Larry Grimm – a tall thin man who you’d never guess would be cast as a chimp (without a ‘monkey suit’). But once we see the barefooted Grim prance about William Boles’ kitchen centered set alighting in a chimp-like squat on the chairs, couches and the kitchen sink-our imaginations start to see Grimm as a chimp. (The magic of live theatre and our imagination!).

A Red Orchid Theatre,

Jones uses the technique of having Grimm speak as the chimpanzee that only us audience members can understand-and- Trevor, the chimpanzee can’t understand the humans, But, of course, we can understand both. This ingredient garners much humor as we hear Trevor verbalize his thoughts, dreams and desires.  We also see his loving mother figure, Sandra (Mierka Girten) as she struggles to maintain Trevor as her housemate rather than a caged animal.  Trevor wants to return as a TV actor while Sandra fights against a world that wants to institutionalize Trevor in the name of public safety.

Much of the humor in this delightful comedy comes from Trevor’s chimpanzee take on the events surrounding his world. Only his inter-voice that hears Oliver (Colm O’Reilly), another chimp friend displays Trevor’s motivations. Neither Trevor nor Sandra are ready for all the wacky events that happen when the Sheriff (Noah Simon) insists that an animal expert, (Brandon St. Clair Saunders) evaluate Trevor behavior and environment to decide if he fit to be a housemate.

A Red Orchid Theatre,

The results are a series of wildly funny and surprising events that are filled with dark humor and mayhem.I’ll not say more so not to spoil the comedy. The play explores family, miscommunication and the complexity of expecting an animal to react as a man. Just because Trevor takes joy rides in Sandra’s car, we can’t expect him to behave as a human. Larry Grimm is so wonderful and empathetic as the chimpanzee that we cheer for him to get his wishes.We also cheer for Mierka Girten despite her obvious delusional belief that Trevor is an equal to any human. She sure outs a new spin on treating your animals (doge & cats?) as your children or  live-in companions.

This is a well paced, brilliantly performed (by Grimm and Girten), and hilarious dark comedy  is a treat with its refreshingly wacky premise. A Red Orchid Theatre once again demonstrates their place as one of Chicago theatre’s gems. See this funny show to experience top drawer theatre in an intimate space for a reasonable price.

Highly Recommended

Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: October 20, 2013

Jeff Recommended

For more info checkout the Trevor page at

At A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells, Chicago, IL, call 312-943-8722, tickets $25 – $30, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 3 pm, running time is 1 hour, 35 minutes with intermission, through December 1, 2013

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