Podtalk: Michael Shannon & Travis A. Knight in Red Orchid’s ‘Turret’ Through June 9, 2024

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CHICAGO – One of Chicago’s icon theater actors … Michael Shannon … is performing again in town, in the company that he co-founded. Red Orchid Theatre presents Michael Shannon and Travis A. Knight in the World Premiere of “Turret” by Levi Holloway, now at the Chopin Theatre through June 9, 2024. For tickets and info, click TURRET.

Two men (Shannon and Knight) survive in a facility deep underground somewhere in the wild woods of the Pacific Northwest, hiding away from something terrible from the outside. Ensnared in a relentless loop of endless tomorrows, they discover the wolf isn’t at the door, it’s already inside, waiting in the creeping darkness all around them. “Turret” is an excavation of masculinity, love, loss and isolation, and a claustrophobic carnival of carnage, carrier pigeons, cribbage, whiskey, music, mischief and mayhem.

Red Orchid’s ’Turret’ at the Chopin Theatre through June 9th
Photo credit: RedOrchidTheatre.org

Michael Shannon was born in Kentucky, and moved to the Chicago area when his father became a professor at DePaul University. Bitten with the performance bug at an early age he made his mark on the professional and storefront stages of Chicago. He made his film debut with a small role in “Groundhog Day,” and moved up the film role spectrum with parts in “Jesus’ Son,” “Cecil B. Demented,” “Pearl Harbor” and “8 Mile.” His exquisite performing style made memorable characters out of everyman personas.

In 2008 his stage work (which he has never stopped doing) continued, as he worked with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman on “The Little Flower of East Orange” at the Public Theater in New York City. That same year he appeared in the film “Revolutionary Road,” for which he was nominated for an Oscar. His roles thereafter ranged memorably between TV (HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” “George & Tammy”), stage (“Long Day’s Journey into Night” and “Waiting for Godot” on Broadway) and film (“Take Shelter,” “Man of Steel,” “99 Homes,” “The Shape of Water” “Elvis and Nixon,” “Knives Out” and the upcoming “Bikeriders”).

Co-lead actor Travis A. Knight also serves as the Associate Artistic Director of the Red Orchid Theatre, where he has appeared in “The Malignant Ampersands,” “Grey House” and “Small Mouth Sounds.” His Chicago credits include “The Crucible” (Steppenwolf), “Ah Wilderness,” “A Christmas Carol,” “Measure for Measure,” “Camino Real” (Goodman) and “Camelot” (Drury Lane). His TV credits include the “Chicago” series (Fire, P.D. and Med), films include the made-in-Chicago “Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party” and the short film “Runner.”

In a Podtalk interview by Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, Michael Shannon reflects on his craft and “Turret” …

In a Podtalk interview by Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, Travis A. Knight talks about his acting roles and as Red Orchid’s Associate Artistic Director …

Red Orchid Theatre presents “Turret” through June 9th at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 West Division Street, Chicago. Featuring Michael Shannon, Travis A. Knight and Lawrence Grimm. Written and directed by Levi Holloway. For more information on Red Orchid, click here.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Critic/Writer

© 2024 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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