Sunday, September 24, 2006

Orestes

Classic Greek Theatre of Oregon
September 24, 2006; closes October 15, 2006

A pleasant puzzle. Most interesting was Euripides’ “cheeky,” then-unorthodox approach to storytelling — why written with “grim” melodramatic beginning, “preposterous” comic ending — what dichotomy meant for original — and contemporary — audiences; and how to successfully (slyly?) play transition. No better-toned Apollo than Zane Palmer; keep eye on whatever Jonah Weston does next.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keith Scales always manages to concoct something worthwhile for Classic Greek. This year's show has very strange material: unrelievedly dreary for 4/5 of the way, veering suddenly into farce and a weird "happy ending," as if Lear were to conclude with the final act of Comedy of Errors. Some terrific costumes, Zachary Koval was interesting as a rather unsympathetic Orestes; but I found the chorus music and singing rather blah, the set uninspiring, and most of the acting weak beyond Weston's fine work, a nice comic turn by Kam Sisco, and an all-too-brief bit by the woman who played an absurdly vain and not very bright Helen of Troy. Still, there's nothing like these shows, and you can't beat the outdoor setting at Reed's amphitheater.

Anonymous said...

In the early 19th Century, Lear was frequently performed with a happy ending.

Anonymous said...

... by Nahum Tate, yes. And more accurately, it was regarded as the authoritative Lear for the entire 18th century as well as the early 19th. But it was not a farcical, outlandish ending, as I understand it; just not one in keeping with the author's intent. This "Orestes" apparently follows Euripides's express desire to undercut previous forms and audience expectations.

Anonymous said...

From appx 1681 to around 1838, to be specificish.

I found the humor in Orestes surprising and refreshing. I found the play overall fairly engaging.

Anonymous said...

Which has always had me curious: Has anyone in our lifetime attempted to mount a production of Lear with the Tate ending? Or is that just too, too. . . .

Anonymous said...

...solid flesh would melt.

Woops - wrong play.

Anonymous said...

oh for that, anonymous, i love you... whoever you are.

Anonymous said...

How about we get back to Orestes and leave the Lear comments for an actual production of Lear?

Harlan said...

Is it just me, or do most of these anonymous posts sound like the same person talking to themselves.

David Brandon said...

Saw it on Thursday with a lot of teenagers who were surprisingly engaged and a lot of grown-ups who were grinning like kids at the ending. I liked the translation (very actable but it didn't fall into that let's-forget-the-original-and-just-spin trap), much of the acting, and although the music wasn't what you'd call exciting, the women in the Chorus moved with real grace, and were totally committed to the action. I wonder how they're going to fit that set indoors?
Also -- a question for Followspot: how come there are 9 comments for Orestes on the "Post a Comment" page, but only 6 on the main site? Just curious...

Anonymous said...

David,

Reload the page when you arrive; you are seeing your cache, not the actual current page.

David Loftus said...

In case any of you are unaware of the fact, director Keith Scales is joining the cast in a supporting role for the remainder of the shows -- indoors at the West End.

Anonymous said...

This production wasn't very good at all. From the set to the acting ... everything mediocre.