Theater Preview: Red Light Winter at Second Thought Theatre

About a month ago, I sat down with Second Thought Theatre’s co-artistic directors, Steven Walters and Chris LaBove over coffee at the Pearl Cup. We chatted about their season, and more specifically, Red Light Winter, the show FrontRow named one of five must-see spring productions. Since the show opens tonight, here’s just a taste of what you’re in for.

Adam Rapp’s “exotic love triangle” with disastrous consequence fits Second Thought’s mandate, if you will, perfectly: the play is a Pulitzer Prize finalist, requires little in the way of a set (which is good, since the theater has a strict “no wall” policy) and features a very small cast. The basic plot: College buddies Mark and Davis, now pushing 30, decide to escape their unfulfilled American lives and make a secular pilgrimage to Amsterdam. While there, they meet a French prostitute named Christina, and as you might suspect, things devolve from there. It’s a love story — unrequited, but love none the less. This is a departure for playwright Rapp, older brother of Rent‘s Anthony, since most of his previous work dealt with similarly bleek themes but hardly affairs of the heart.

As a follow up to the theater’s production of Thom Pain in the fall, which Walters called a “learning experience” for both him and LaBove, Red Light Winter is perhaps more of an emotional journey than Pain’s narcissistic (and often antagonistic) headtrip that had audience members walking out mid-performance.

“We don’t want to put people off,” Walters said. “We want them to know that if they have a negative reaction, that’s okay.”

And they’d also like you to know that there will be be boobs. And other nudity. So leave the kids at home for this one, and then don’t rush out after the curtain call: there’s a talkback after every show.


  • Marcia McClellan

    Your indication that this was sexual and prolonged nudity was being kind. Youl shou;ld have included Intercourse. I left at intermission. I really wanted know where the playwright was coming from but it was not worth another 1 hour.

    Also, starting the production 15 minutes late was annoying as well as I could not read the “Green PLAYBILL.”

    I was told I could get the same information on your website. But, so far, I have not been able to find it.

    I have reminded myself that your warnings are not adequate for me.