Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Antigone

Classic Greek Theatre of Oregon **Photo credit: Rebecca J. Becker**
September 6 - 28, October 5, 2008

Review by peanutduck

I’m ambivalent. Scales’ modern text is brutally blunt and forceful, drawing gasps from audience, yet sometimes overly simple, at expense of poetry, nuance. The chorus’s storytelling, strong and harmonic vocally, is frequently overshadowed by choreography, traditional but clumsy on small stage. Creon, Antigone, Haemon, and, surprisingly, Sentry, approach on-key tragedy.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was looking forward to my first Keith Scales production. So it was with regret that I found it amateurish, boring and uneven. The chorus lacked energry. Antigone was one note and not caring until her big crying scene, which she milked. Creon, well, I'm just stumped to describe how bad he was. There were a couple of interesting performances and one of them was the Sentry and the other Ismene. It felt like Monty Python meets Antigone.

Anonymous said...

Ancient Greek tragedy is a bit of an acquired taste, and Classic Greek Theatre – like musicals and children’s theater – is a local acquired taste. I gather many Portland actors largely steer clear of all three, as auditioners and as patrons. Each of the above has its peculiar conventions: different kinds of pacing, different tropes, different strengths, from most other genres. This year’s production is more austere than others in recent memory (a return to basics after last year’s manic and scattershot “Peace”), although the Chorus has to do a lot, physically as well as vocally. Bigelow is brilliant in the title role, with coiled energy that bursts out when she is led away; Alec Wilson does a strong turn as Haemon, and Nick (? I don’t have the program in front of me) provides a welcome comic break as the Sentry. As Creon, Shaw is better at fury than grief. He’s very uneven: sometimes showing real strength, other times seeming to flail for lines. John Vergin’s 1999 musical score is eerie and evocative (there’s live accompaniment from a flute and percussionist), but choreography for the Chorus is oddly geometric, not so much organic. Liked the richly colored costumes. A lot of teens in the audience appeared to have been dragged to the show by their schools, but it seemed to hold them well.

Anonymous said...

"Ancient Greek tragedy is a bit of an acquired taste, and Classic Greek Theatre – like musicals and children’s theater – is a local acquired taste."

Please, good theatre speaks to an audience and bad theatre just sits there jerking itself off.

I've seen an enormous amount of theatre and it either connects to an audience or it doesn't and this ANTIGONE doesn't.

David Loftus said...

You may only speak for yourself, Anonymous. This show has been connecting with lots of audience members since you saw it. They tell us so and we can see it in their faces; students from St. Mary's Academy were laughing and crying just this afternoon. I'll admit the first weekend's shows were a bit shaky; if you are willing to take the trouble to see it again, email me privately and I'll be happy to arrange a free ticket for you.

Anonymous said...

Good criticim speaks to personal reaction, bad criticim just sits there jerking itself off.