Culture Magazine

Review: Reservoir Dogs (Roundhouse Productions)

By Chicagotheaterbeat @chitheaterbeat

Review: Reservoir Dogs (Roundhouse Productions)   
Reservoir Dogs 

Original words by Quentin Tarantino
Adapted for stage by Roundhouse Prod. 
Directed by Cody Evans
at The Think Tank, 1770 W. Berteau (map)
thru Dec 10  |  tickets: $15   |  more info

Check for half-price tickets 
   Read entire review



A smashing great play


Review: Reservoir Dogs (Roundhouse Productions)


Roundhouse Productions presents


Reservoir Dogs: A Judas in Our Midst

Review by K.D. Hopkins

Roundhouse Productions has added another fantastic restaging of an action centered piece written for the screen to an impressive resume. The people that brought us Point Break Live! (our review) and Predator the Musical to the Chicago theater scene and now Reservoir Dogs.

It is no easy feat to bring the naturalistic violence and dialog cadences of Quentin Tarantino from screen to stage. His films are masterpieces of jangly editing and shocking violence in the tradition of Peckinpah and Scorsese. Director Cody Evans gives the piece a knockout punch by casting all of the roles with women.

Review: Reservoir Dogs (Roundhouse Productions)
The actors of this play are perfectly cast. It’s surreal for this fan of Tarantino to see. Here is a group of gorgeous women acting out what is usually in the realm of legendary tough guy actors. Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, Steven Buscemi, and Tim Roth bring to mind explosive violence and brilliant delivery of hysterical yet horrifying dialog. The women playing the colorful roles of organized and dangerous criminals seem pulled from the pulp reform school movies of the 50′s and 60′s. They are beautiful, tough, and would just as soon cut you as kiss you.

Whitney LaMora as Ms. Blonde aka ‘Toothpick Vic’ adds a new dimension to a stunning scene. LaMora is a petite blonde but she inhabits the sadistic character with blood lust and perverse sexy glee.

The 70′s hit ‘Stuck in the Middle With You’ is sung with honey smoothness by Heather Hladish. The torture scene has a dreamy feel to it as the blood streams from the victim tied to a chair.

Brittany Ellis is a standout in the role that Harvey Keitel has in the film. She is simply awesome as Ms. White. She has a look that can shoot razors and she has mastered the art of Tarantino Speak. The dialog is funny but also base and raw. I didn’t want to laugh at the story of the super glue and the man’s appendage but I couldn’t help it.

Ally Reinke is perfect in the role of Ms. Pink, who is Steven Buscemi in the film. Reinke has wonderful comic timing and nervous paranoia. Ms. Pink is perhaps the most thuggish of all the criminals and Reinke blends that disconcerting edge of sweet girl crossed with goon. I am still laughing at the memory of her line, "I’m a professional!"

Stephanie Rohr plays the role of mastermind Nice Guy Edie. Her throaty voice is a great accoutrement to the bad girl vibe of the play.

Ashley Yates is in the role of Ms. Blue, who has to maneuver her way into the gang and the heist from hell. It is fun to hear her spin the tale of the ‘great marijuana drought’. Jenna Schoppe as Ms. Brown and Nicky Hilsen as Ms. Orange round out the brilliant cast of cool criminals.

The dialog and action are verbatim from the film, and even with the restraints of a stage it feels fluid and expansive. The set is minimalist: draped in white and black with one riser. Nothing interferes with the dialog and plot, which is the main difference from the film. Los Angeles is as much a character in the film as any of the gang. The heist is elaborately staged as only could be done in L.A. with the juxtaposition of a mythical city of dreams and its underbelly.

The stage version could be anywhere and my mind went directly to Chicago. The cast imbues a gritty Chicago Noir vibe into this production.

Reservoir Dogs is violent, crude, and wickedly funny. It is not for the squeamish, and you cannot look away. Kudos to Roundhouse Productions.


Rating: ★★★½



Reservoir Dogs: A Judas in Our Midst continues through December 10th at The Think Tank, 1770 W. Berteau (map), with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 10pm.  Tickets are $15, and are available by phone (phonenumber) or online at More information at URL.  (Running time: play length, which includes one intermission)

Review: Reservoir Dogs (Roundhouse Productions)
Review: Reservoir Dogs (Roundhouse Productions)
Review: Reservoir Dogs (Roundhouse Productions)



Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog