Academy Award-nominee Michael Shannon is not resting on his almost-laurels in “Mistakes Were Made”; the man certainly works it. By the end of the close-to-a-one-man show, Shannon is bathed in sweat, surveying the rubble of his character’s life. He’s a wonder to watch.
If only Craig Wright’s script were as good. Felix Artifex is a schmuck theatrical producer with a shit-eating Letterman grin who we don’t care about, producing a show we don’t want to see. We don’t meet any of the characters involved in his fundraising scam; Artifex’s personal crisis, a vulnerability we could empathize with, stays sketchy until the end.
We don’t care but Shannon makes us want to try. It’s almost painful to watch him drag a bad show through development by hook or by crook, committed to quasi-art for art’s sake. He’s a gifted guy; the gift could be put to better use. (Lisa Buscani)
“Mistakes Were Made” plays at A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells, (312)943-8722 Through October 31.