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Red at Cleveland Play House

Art, artists, and the act of creation get their due in Red, a 2010 Tony Award-winner by playwright John Logan. Opening this week at Cleveland Play House, the provocative drama takes its cue from an episode in the life of tempermental mid-century artist Mark Rothko. Rothko accepted a fabulously lucrative commission in the late 1950s to paint murals for The Four Seasons restaurant in NYC. He worked furiously for three months on the so-called Seagram Murals — only to eventually repudiate the restaurant and give back his commission. Among other things, Logan speculates on the inner demons that might have given rise to that puzzling decision in this intense, two-man drama, which unfolds as an intellectual throwdown between Rothko and a fictional protege. Examinations of aesthetics, philosophy, and the entire history of Western Art ensue. Red continues the Allen Theatre through April 8 with performances daily except Mondays. Ticket prices range from $15 to $69. Get yours by phone or online.

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