Los Angeles Theater Review: EURYDICE: (A Noise Within in Pasadena)

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by Jesse David Corti on March 29, 2013

in Theater-Los Angeles

MYTH UNDERSTOOD

Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice is classical in its mythological origins but forges a modern path with a point of view modification and feministic flair. The original Greek myth of Orpheus is centered on the incomparable, eponymous musician who loses his wife to the netherworld too soon. He is then motivated to do whatever it takes to retrieve his beloved Eurydice. The Lord of the netherworld is deeply moved by Orpheus’ music and allows him to take back his wife on one condition: he must look forward the entire time he makes his journey back up to the surface—should he turn his head and look back at Eurydice, she will be lost forever.

Jesse David Corti’s’s Stage and Cinema LA review of “Eurydice” at A Noise Within in PasadenaRuhl makes use of the original myth’s elements but shifts the focus to the fallen woman, not the aspiring hero. And what is her story? Well, she has reservations about marrying Orpheus, because his mind thinks about music incessantly—even when he is face to face with his beloved Eurydice. She runs away from her own wedding party and encounters a mysterious stranger who has somehow procured a letter addressed to her from her deceased father. Intrigued by the letter, she follows him to his dwelling and discovers its contents. However, through a simple twist of fate, she falls from a great height and arrives in the netherworld. Here she is reconnected with her father, and the rekindling of their relationship serves as the thrust of this elegant, elegiac piece.

Jesse David Corti’s’s Stage and Cinema LA review of “Eurydice” at A Noise Within in PasadenaGeoff Elliot does double duty as co-star and director of this piece, and deserves praise for smart staging, fantastical stagecraft, and affecting interpretation of Ruhl’s melancholic script. The penultimate production of A Noise Within’s season is a tragic, lovely thing to behold.

Jules Willcox delivers a dynamic and delicate portrayal as the frustrated lover and bonding daughter, Eurydice. Elliott gives a tender performance as Eurydice’s gentle, nurturing father. Graham Sibley’s matter-of-fact aloofness undercuts the traditional mythological icon of Orpheus. Ryan Vincent Anderson plays up oddness as Lord of the Underworld, but lacks the charm and beguiling behavior to deliver a full-bodied performance. Abigail Marks, Jessie Losch, and Kelly Ehlert provide abrasive sass as a Greek chorus of stones (Big, Little, and Loud, respectively).

Jesse David Corti’s’s Stage and Cinema LA review of “Eurydice” at A Noise Within in PasadenaBrian Gale’s projections operate both as special effects for Eurydice’s fall and as a moody accent against scenic designer Jeanine A. Ringer’s gorgeous dark-blue backdrop—geometrically textured like a grooved, sheer cliff. Together, they elicit the environment of descent whether the action takes place on a beach, in the netherworld, or a wedding party. Ringer’s design also includes deftly employed waterworks and an elevator. Meghan Gray enhances the tenor of each scene with her nuanced and often stark lighting schemes. The passionate and moving Endre Balogh performs original, mournful pieces on violin as the expression of Orpheus’ torment and talent. The combination of all these elements working together allows one to be wholly immersed in this ninety-minute intermissionless, modern myth.

Jesse David Corti’s’s Stage and Cinema LA review of “Eurydice” at A Noise Within in Pasadena

photos by Craig Schwartz

Eurydice
A Noise Within in Pasadena
scheduled to end on May 19, 2013
for tickets, call 626-356-3100
or visit http://www.ANoiseWithin.org

Jesse David Corti’s’s Stage and Cinema LA review of “Eurydice” at A Noise Within in Pasadena

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