Wednesday, 10 August 2011

SummerWorks Review: 5 Stars for This Greek ONE

Danforth

SW Description: The events of the play surround two characters. One is a 23-year old Greek waiter named George who has a confidence issue when it comes to a girl he likes. The other is a 15-year old Greek kid named Kostas D.

My Rating: 3/5 stars



My Review: It was fun spending some time listening to the boys and men of the Danforth talk about cars, women, haircuts. They talk of borders as if they live in a world outside of Toronto, a world in which Greek culture comfortably flourishes with its sense of community, but also confines with its traditions. The cast is larger than needed (the female roles could easily have been played by one actress, for example), and the character of George is not well-acted, but I loved the actor who played Kostas, and enjoyed seeing this Toronto story on a mainstream stage.



Remaining Performances
Factory Studio
Friday August 12th 5:30 PM
Saturday August 13th 3:00 PM
Sunday August 14th 8:00 PM

Eurydice
SW Description:
A retelling of the Orpheus myth from his dead bride’s point of view.
My Rating: 2/5 Stars
My Review: I was really looking forward to seeing this play, unfortunately, it was a disappointment. There is nothing wrong with Sarh Ruhl's writing, but this staging of it has some rough spots. In this version of the myth, Eurydice is portrayed as a girlish young woman with a high pitched voice. I don't know why Kristina Nicoll directed Caitlin Driscoll to use this style of voice, but I found it irritating and distracting from the story. There is a fine line between portraying Eurydice as a naive young woman easily seduced by the Lord of the Underworld and depicting her as a girl. Further, the chemistry between Driscoll's Eurydice and Justin Rutledge's Orpheus is lukewarm, resulting in only a mild interest in their doomed love. Driscoll is at her best with actor, Hardee T. Lineham (Father). Lineham's performance is the strongest of the castmembers, exhibiting a profound sense of fatherly love for Eurydice and a touching determination to help her navigate the Underworld. The choral trio of the Stones add humour to the plot, but the actors lack the comic timing that should have made this trio into the scene stealers they were obviously meant to be.

Remaining PerformancesPasse Muraille Mainspace
Wednesday August 10th 8:00 PM
Friday August 12th 10:30 PM
Saturday August 13th 12:30 PM

ONE
SW Description: A critically-acclaimed theatre sensation. One is a visually stunning re-imagining of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth that follows the desperate journey of Philistine; a librarian whose devoted search for a lover ‘lost at sea’ takes her beyond the living world and into the strange and all-consuming world of the dead.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars
My Review: In contrast to Eurydice, ONE is a well-staged dance drama that captivates the eyes and the ears. There is a certain satisfaction that comes with viewing a work that achieves success on many creative levels. Amber Borotsik and Cole Humeny have the chemestry that makes us understand why Eurydice would want to go to the Underworld in search of her true love. The clever use of the record player as a keeper of memories, and the wonderful banter between Borotsik and Keith Wyatt as Charon is smartly and rhytmically staged. Rather than list everything I enjoyed about this interpretation of the piece I will simply urge you to buy a tickets and list thank the team for their excellent work by listing them all here.

Company: REDtoBLUE Performance
Playwright: Jason Carnew
Director: Eric Rose
Cast: Amber Borotsik, Cole Humeny, Kristi Hansen, Keith Wyatt
Associate Lighting Designer/Stage Manager: Lester Lee
Sound Designer: Matt Waddell,
Production Design: Snezana Pesic.

Remaining Performances
Factory Studio
Thursday August 11th 10:00 PM
Saturday August 13th 3:00 PM
Sunday August 14th 5:00 PM


SummerWorks Info/Tickets
http://www.summerworks.ca/2011/tickets.php:

416.504.7529


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

With Eurydice, it's hard to fault the director working with such poor (my opinion) undramatic material. I've read the play before seeing this production and Ruhl has notes that the two lovers should be played unnaturally young (forget the exact wording). Also in the rather absurdist text, the passion between the lovers is rather abstract/talky... I never felt they belonged to each other. As if they tell you they are in love but never show it. The stones, ugh... I don't recall playwright notes stating they should be comic, but in the text they were not compelling (could have been cut). For a chorus they rarely provided useful info or commentary. The Lord of the Underworld was exactly how he was in the text: ridiculous and somewhat funny... However, the hint that he (as a grown-up) and the seducer were supposed to be the same person wasn't conveyed on stage. I doubt it mattered as in the text this fact wasn't used - merely mentioned.

Sincerely,

[same person who posted the Hero & Leander comment]

donna g said...

Dear Same Person,
After seeing this play and now reading your comment, I plan on reading the play. If the lovers are supposed to be young, then why did this director chose to only make Euryidce a girl, but not depict Orpheus as a boy? Perhaps if both roles had been balanced Driscoll's performance wouldn't have been so off-putting. Then, again, maybe they both would have rubbed me the wrong way!...