Monday, May 08, 2006

BY THE BOG OF CATS

The cast is strong, though the opening weekend performance lost tempo as actors were still finding their ways in, e.g., some yelling instead of nuance; some habits being indulged instead of discoveries being made by actors we're all familiar. The dialect work was some of the best I've heard in Portland. For my money, the stand-out performance was by Vanna O'Brian, who was hysterical.

I didn't much like this show, though. For one thing, why redo Medea, at least so closely? The 'contemporary' and or 'mythic' Irish setting doesn't add anything to the story, and in fact, detracts, confusing cliche for archetype. "Mythic" is bolix, anyways, at least as a dramatic quality for a playwright or production to aim at. Leave such adjectives to the critics and get on with either entertaining or shocking us. When a production signals that it's being "mythic," it's warning me of fascination with it's own navel lint.

A good cast doing a mediocre play... which is better than the other way around.

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