Photo by Rob Cunliffe
Oedipus the Tyrant
(translation by Jamey Hecht, PhD)
The Sherry Theatre
(11052 Magnolia Boulevard, North Hollywood, CA 91601)
A production of The Porters of Hellsgate
Date of reviewed performance: February 25, 2011
Priest - Dylan Vigus
Oedipus - Charles Pasternak
Creon - Thomas Bigley
Teiresias/Messenger - Jamey Hecht
Jocasta - Kate O'Toole
Shepherd - Gus Krieger
Chorus/Page - Cristina MacKinnon
Chorus - Dana DeRuyck
Chorus - Blanca Gomez
Chorus - Alex Parker
Chorus - Kristie Rohwedder
This production of Oedipus the Tyrant is a translation by Jamey Hecht, a frequent Porters cast member who portrays two characters here. This is an earnest production Creon's arrival, he informs Oedipus that the curse will only be lifted if the murderer of Laius (the former king who was killed at a crossroads several years earlier) is found and prosecuted.It opens as Oedipus (Charles Pasternak) awaits Creon's (Thomas Bigley) return from Delphi, where he has gone to learn how to free the city of Thebes from a curse. Upon
Oedipus immediately dedicates himself to the investigation of Laius’s murder. He subjects the citizens of Thebes to questioning, concluding with the blind prophet, Teiresias (Jamey Hecht). Teiresias informs Oedipus that Oedipus himself killed Laius. This is unsettling news for the king, but his wife Jocasta (Kate O'Toole) assures him that prophets are unreliable witnesses. She tells Oedipus how she and King Laius once had a son who was prophesied to kill Laius and sleep with her, but they were able to nip that bad fortune in the bud by having the infant killed.
This fails to make Oedipus feel any better, since he knows that he was adopted, and that he will eventually kill his biological father and sleep with his biological mother. Not to mention, Oedipus once killed a man at a crossroads...
The production includes a couple of standout performances. Mr. Pasternak's Oedipus is a complex mix of swagger and vulnerability from the outset. He manages to perfectly balance tenacity and determination with anxiety and doubt as he navigates his own undoing. Mr. Hecht turns in one of his best performances to date as he goes toe to toe with Oedipus as the seer Teiresias. The chorus does an excellent job and are quite entertaining on their own, although their inspired choreography periodically overshadows their voices.
The costumes worn by the chorus are colorless smocks. The principals are likewise dressed in vaguely period garb of mostly earth tones, which all feels a bit bland until the final scene when the muted shades are contrasted to a horror-level effect with Oedipus's blood.
Oedipus the Tyrant runs now through March 11th, Friday and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm, March 12th at 7pm and 10pm and March 13th at 2pm and 7pm. Tickets are $20 ($15 for students/seniors/AEA). Reservations may be made through BrownPaperTickets.com.
Directed by Thomas Bigley
Choreography by Taylor Fisher
Art Design by Taylor Fisher
Costume Design by Jessica Pasternak
Sound Design & Composition by Nicholas Neidorf
Lighting Design by Thomas Bigley
Scenic Design by Alex Parker
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