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Based on the Myths of Ovidlookingglass theatre

Written & Directed by Mary Zimmerman

At Lookingglass Theatre, Chicago

Ageless Metamorphoses still makes a splash

Mary Zimmerman, a lifelong lover of Greek mythology, has  adapted from the classic Ovid poem, Metamorphoses into the stylish theatrical event first produced in 1996 at Northwestern then moved to Ivanhoe Theatre and eventually into a hit Broadway show that garnered Zimmerman a Tony for Best Director. After productions around the USA, Metamorphoses returns to Lookingglass Theatre’s digs on Michigan Avenue.

mary zimmerman

Zimmerman’s take on the Ovid poems necessitates being stage in water – here a square two foot deep pool as a universal symbol of transformation. Featuring many of the original cast and veterans of past productions, the 2012 production has a zest and polish seldom witnessed on stage.  Metamorphoses is a vivid, often funny, and totally engaging and fluid theatrical piece of storytelling. The smart and stylish production directed by Mary Zimmerman is a into a gorgeous work rich in imagery and filled with several  universal thematic stories beginning with the tale of King Midas and moving through the cannon of well known Greek myths.

lookinglass theater

The cast: Usman Ally, Anjail Bhimani, Lawrence E. DiStasi, Marilyn Dodds Frank, Anne Fogarty, Raymond Fox, Doug Hara, Chris Kipiniak, Louise Lamson, and Lauren Orkus each have their moments acting and splashing around the pool. The dedication to the material was augmented by the fun these players seemed to have telling the classical tales.  The piece is one of those rare ones filled with mystery, suspense, beauty, humor, pain, and pathos. Zimmerman updates many of the stories so that they’ll resonate in today’s world. This is a slick, well light (by T. J. Gerckens) on Daniel Ostling’s pool based set with Andre Pluess’ sound give the production just the proper atmosphere to enhance the stories.

This is a major theatrical event that sophisticated theatre patrons will enjoy; it also will please those into Greek Mythology. Since I’m not a strong fan of Greek myths, my appreciation of Metamorphoses is in the acting and the rich style. It sure was a splash! (sorry).


Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: September 29, 2012

For more info checkout the Metamorphoses page at

At Lookingglass Theatre, 821 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL, call 312-337-0665,, tickets $36 – $70, Tuesdays thru Sundays at 7:30 pm, matinees at 3 pm on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, running time is 1 hour, 40 minutes without intermission, through January 6, 2013

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