Review: EVERY BRILLIANT THING at Arkansas Repertory Theatre opens the 2022/2023 season

This one-man show runs through Oct. 23rd

By: Sep. 20, 2022
Review: EVERY BRILLIANT THING at Arkansas Repertory Theatre opens the 2022/2023 season

EVERY BRILLIANT THING is a brilliant way to open the Arkansas Repertory Theatre 2022/2023 season. This one-man show written by Duncan MacMillan with Jonny Donahoe, directed by Ginna Hoben, and starring Arkansas' own Chad Bradford, will be showing through October 23 in the black box theatre on the upper floor. Due to the close proximity of the audience and performer, masks are required.

When a six-year-old takes it upon himself to cheer up his mother who attempted suicide and failed, he starts making a list about everything that is brilliant in the world. The list Review: EVERY BRILLIANT THING at Arkansas Repertory Theatre opens the 2022/2023 season starts out simple with things like ice cream and staying up past bedtime. As he gets older, the list gets longer with more complex brilliant things. This list takes him through his relationship with his father, going to college, getting married, and through to his mother's third and successful attempt at suicide. Though this sounds like a downer of a play, and some parts are, it has some very high emotional points as well. In fact, the storyteller goes through all of the emotions, and at one point in a manic episode ends up on the floor. Being extremely happy leads him to extreme sadness. Still, he's up and goes through life, plays piano, bonds with his father, and finishes his list at one million.

Chad Bradford is a powerhouse performer. He is engaging, entertaining, and very thoughtful in his deliverance of the piece. He turns on the charm as you enter the theatre, requesting, individually, that each audience member take part in the story. Bradford's ease with the words tricks you into thinking that he is recounting his own tale, instead of reciting 50 pages of a monologue. It was thoroughly enjoyable, and I'm recommendingReview: EVERY BRILLIANT THING at Arkansas Repertory Theatre opens the 2022/2023 season this show to all of my friends.

The setting happens to be the whole theatre. Bradford utilizes every bit of the space, including sitting with the audience at times. There are various seating surrounding the floor space that is designated as the stage, and they are simplistic in the props that are used.

The audience participation in itself is brilliant. I, thankfully, had a one-word answer, but there were some in the audience (who I suspiciously think are plants?) who had a lot to say. The interaction between the storyteller and his father, a sock puppet, and his girlfriend/wife was so fun to watch. Bradford had control of the whole room from start to finish.

I am so thrilled The Rep has started up with this season. I encourage you to get season tickets, because they have a fantastic line-up. After EVERY BRILLIANT THING comes to a close, GUYS & DOLLS will follow in November, LAUGHTER ON THE 23rd FLOOR with Judge Reinhold in January, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS in April, and CLYDE'S in June will finish out the season. For more information, visit The Rep's website at www.therep.org, or call the box office at (501)378-0405.

EVERY BRILLIANT THING

Production Designer-Mark Exline

Sound Designer-Benjamin Kramer

Production Stage Manager-Kelsey Pulzone

Assistant Stage Manager-Kelli Cool

Photographer-Stephen Thornton of Thornton Media

Check out more amazing photos and videos by Thornton at www.thorntonvisuals.com.

Review: EVERY BRILLIANT THING at Arkansas Repertory Theatre opens the 2022/2023 season




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