Sunday, September 10, 2006

Metamorphoses

Artists Repertory Theatre
September 9, 2006; closes October 15, 2006

A flirty theatricality that tickled as often as it touched, filled with colossal beauty, face-to-face forthrightness. Outstanding: Jeff Forbes’ submersive lighting; Rodolfo Ortega’s lovely, leading sound; director Randall Stuart’s eclectic intuition; relaxed cast found honest joy, wonder otherwise unseen at ART recently. Niggle: time to exhale before shorter curtain call.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

How about those shiny gold hot pants and tights!

Anonymous said...

Has ART been able to fix the pool?

Carole said...

I think the pool is still dry, but you aren't missing anything. Go see it.

Anonymous said...

An amazing play, kudos to the actors but ESPECIALLY the increadible mind of the director. What was the show like with water in the pool?

Anonymous said...

The director of this particular production of Metamorphoses had nothing to do with the pool idea. Mary Zimmerman, playwright and director of the original production, set the show in a pool, and now it is a required element in all productions of Metamorphoses.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone has posted anything suggesting the pool WAS the director's idea; why so defensive?

Anonymous said...

No defensiveness involved at all, just trying to give credit where credit is due. It seemed that the previous poster was attributing the pool to "the incredible mind of the director". It did come from the incredible mind of a director, just a different one.

Anonymous said...

I didn't take to this one. It felt like many small disconnected vignettes - perfectly interesting on their own - searching for a unifying structure or story.

Lots of shiny things to look at on stage, sure.

But did not come away feeling like this was great drama.

Would like to hear from a fan what was compelling about this show and why you liked it.

Burt said...

what i appreciated was its understated, modern simplicity and elegance and grace, yet with a good sense of humor too -- all of which sometimes can be overblown when dealing with the ancient classics

whether that's due to the script, the director or the actors, I don't know -- likely a combination

Anonymous said...

It is required? I was the 'previous poster'. I still believe never the less the directors mind and creativity was amazing using common objects such as an iPod, although I was a little caught off gaurd by the nudity...(I hope I didn't spoil anything) The music design was increadable as well.

Anonymous said...

Stunning....everything good theatre is supposed to be. See it for yourself that is the only way to do it justice.

Sven said...

It's odd -- on paper, I'm not sure I'd buy this. But in performance, it's lovely. Just proves that a script is not a play until it's performed before an audience.

Anonymous said...

Responding to Sven's comment: funny you should say that. I have a hard time getting excited about most of the scripts I read -- and I mean well-established plays, not new works in progress. With regard to almost every play I've been in the past year, I've felt uneasy about the script going in, but I joined the project because I respected the producing theater, wanted to work with the director/cast, etc. And the results always turned out better than I had been expecting. So I wonder if I'm lacking some gene to appreciate good dramatic writing on the page? -- Quixel

tg said...

This is what all theatre should be: intellectually engaging, visually stunning, thought-provoking, clever, redemptive, beautiful. Best thing done at ART in years. Part is due to the brilliant script by Ms. Zimmerman, part to the cast, and part to Mr. Stuart. Finally, a director at ART with vision!

Neal said...

Is it just me, or are there a couple of shows every year that get touted as "the best thing done by ART in years"?

Harlan said...

Yes, but they're under the heading: Third Rail.

Anonymous said...

I saw the closing night show. Visually sumptuous and arresting, lots of fine bodies and acting, and the show occasionally moving and/or thought-provoking, but I'm not sure it adds up to a play. The vignette structure didn't quite work for me. Loved the humor, post-modern prop and language elements, lots of other stuff. Made me wish I'd read Ovid long ago -- better get to it.

Anonymous said...

To me, the show read like a children's play – caricatures in place of characters (the daughter of Midas stomping and sticking out her bottom lip like a cartoon toddler), broad humor (high fivin' gods) and emotion that was indicated rather than felt ("Was my story too sad for you?" insert big wiping-of-eyes gesture). Not to mention the “Let’s sum this all up for the audience” moment at the end, spoken in chorus by all.

The heightened theatricality emphasized silliness but subdued violence. Please don’t pander with your abundance of buh-dum-cha moments. Give me more blood.

I was puzzled by strange accents throughout. I didn't always know who was telling the story (the two actors in black during Orpheus and Eurydice?)

Final complaint: The underscoring was too much! Please let the action and actors lead the audience to feel something, rather than the swelling of violins.

Excellent acting from Myrrha and Cinyras.
Lovely actors and costumes.

The rest of the matinee audience seemed to love it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymus 10-16 1:36pm---

Your comments reek of a twenty year olds "I could've done it better" jealousy. I saw the show 4 times never once did I see a god high-five or Midas' daughter stomp or push out her lower lip...
For the unevolved of you out there who like to refer to this brilliant production as a bunch of "vignettes" you miss the point entirely....if you would allow yourself to be open to an experience as opposed to sitting in judgement with your insecurity you would feel the "emotional climax" that is inherit within the structure of the piece and marvelously brought forth by the direction, acting, sound and lights. In the tradition of "Theatre of Cruelty" (look it up) this piece culminates in an emotional purging that is a cleansing of the spirit. Had you allowed yourself to take this journey you would have seen the many metaphors which are frighteningly relevent to todays world....I pity you and your lack of ability to see beyond your own ego.

Anonymous said...

In answer to the post about "Metamorphoses" being a children's play. Wow, what show did you see? Apparently, granted you are allowed your own opinion, apparently, you understood nothing.
First, Midas' daughter skipped rope and bounced a ball which I recall was not stomping, and caused Midas to say "Be Still" remember that old adage "be careful what you wish for"? She then turns to gold. Second, Did you not understand that Orpheus and Euridice had two narrators because one version was Ovid, the other was Rainer Maria Rilke. Two versions of the story, two narrators. Violence? Wow, where was the subdued violence? More blood? How sad that you didn't get it. It seems that you came in wanting to hate it and wasted your money because you didn't allow yourself to be open to the message of this beautiful play. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

went in expecting to like it and was disappointed. guess i'm a knuckle-dragger too. :)

Anonymous said...

I agree with th other posts. Anonymous 11:07:23 must be immature, jealous, un-evolved, judgmental, insecure, uneducated, un-spiritual, pitiful, egotistical, ignorant and close-minded, because he/she has a different opinion. (Except for that last bit of praise in his post of course.)

I’m right, you’re wrong- a simple fact. Just because I’m pointing it out, doesn’t mean I’m judgemental or insecure, or uneducated, unspiritual, pitiful, egotistical, ignorant or close-minded. Uh, wait…

Sigh.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the other posters. Anonymous 11:07:23 must be immature, jealous, un-evolved, judgmental, insecure, uneducated, un-spiritual, pitiful, egotistical, ignorant and close-minded, because he/she has a different opinion. (Except for that last bit of praise in his post of course.)

I’m right, you’re wrong- a simple fact. Just because I’m pointing it out, doesn’t mean I’m judgemental, insecure, uneducated, unspiritual, pitiful, egotistical, ignorant or close-minded. Uh, wait…

Sigh.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't implying that you were egotistical---in fact quite the opposite---My implication was that you are a person for whom all others must do poorly or else you feel diminished...

As Ayn Rand would say---the only true sin is to see something you know is of high quality and to deny it is so....you sir have sinned.

Anonymous said...

I felt the production was wonderul. What I had trouble with was the curtain speech by Alan Nause and the house manager. Insincere, fake, pretentious... I would hope never to see such a curtain speech again!

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a heated little comment section.

I had the pleasure of seeing this magnificent show in a much larger venue with a wonderfully effective pool. It is true that the pool is a contracted required element per Mary Zimmerman, and it is my understanding that an exception was made for ART and their production due to complications. Although I very much desired to see the ART production complete with functioning pool, it turned out that I was wonderfully surprised by the inventive and equally effective final product.

The one major difference between the two Professional productions I gladly encountered was that the larger venue gave more of a sense of observing and taking it in as a larger picture. While ART's has their inherent intimacy and lent to a more emotionally involved viewing. The contrast between these two setting styles really had an impact on me and again, while I truly adored the Portland production, I felt that I was able to gleen more of the overall story from the larger venue and being removed a bit. It seemed to allow a bit of space necessary to enable the extraction of relevance to our current world. While being up close and personal was, perhaps, a bit more distracting from the over all story because I was more involved in the moment. Both lovely experiences, but perhaps I am the luckier for being able to appreciate them as different in that I already knew the 'bigger picture' and was able to indulge in the stories individually.

ART's production was superb and inimitable, and I am grateful that they brought Metamorphoses to their stage.
________________________________

As for the train of previously posted comments - I am saddened by the seemingly inability to simply enjoy that which is set before us. This particular script, weaves in and out of stories that continue to have relevance in our current world. "Ageless" "Timeless" "Ever true" It seems as though that element was missed by some that have left word.

Perhaps, and this is just a suggestion, you should try to enter a Theatre with as few expectations as possible. And no, not to avoid disappointment, but rather so that you may allow yourself to simply experience what is set before you. After all, is that not the reason we produce and attend Theatre?? For the experience? To share experiences with our 'fellow brethren?' Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the elements of a production on an individual basis, but it is the collaboration that we strive for, so perhaps we should simply experience projects in their completed state as a whole before we start dissecting and picking at them like kids playing with an ant hill?