Short review: This is the work fringe is made for. Visually and musically stunning.
Long review: This is a show that is a big risk that paid off. It is a reworking of the Greek tragedy by Euripides, and it creates a framework wrapped around our current American tragedies.
The chorus presents not only the traditional format of chorus storytelling, but it mixes American songs and patriotic verses in with the action of the work. This leads to a jarring and visceral experience that is both unnerving and beautiful. The themes of immigration, marriage, children, and American refugee suffering are peppered in with this traditional work that is beautifully updated for right now.
Creatively, the pictures created by the actors with just a ladder were stunning. This was a a cross between a dance, music and art piece in its flow. The Chorus needs to be commended on their work – Lauren Pope, Erdin Schultz-Bever, Marie Warner, Markeyta Young, and Victoria Kilkenny had a monumental task with the dialogue, singing and dancing, and physicalities of the piece and they brought it.
Erika Crane Ricketts and Davis DeRock were flawless in the portrayal of their individual characters. This play is full of large themes and the modern American condition, so it would have been easy for them to play one tone or be too overbearing, but they did a great job with the nuances.
This is a work I think everyone will be talking about, and I believe you’ll be able to say ‘I was there when it was first seen.’ Overall, I think it’s formidable and important to make old works accessible, especially for education. Nathan Bowman and the Kansas City Public Theatre should be extremely proud of what they made. It’s exciting on August 4th they are performing it free and outdoors at Brush Creek Ampitheater at 7:30pm- if you can make it, I urge you to do so, whether it be then or during KC Fringe!