By Roland Schimmelpfenning
Translated by Jonathan L. Green
Produced by Sideshow Theatre Company
At the DCASE Storefront Theatre, Chicago
Theatrical stylistic ensemble storytelling bridges the gap from ancient Greek myth to modern drama
It is a daunting challenge to attempt to tell the story of Idomeneus, King of Crete in one hour as it is equally challenging to do so in the ancient Greek storytelling vehicle of mufti-voiced chorus. Using German playwright Roland Schimmelpfenning’s version of the Idomeneus story, translated by David Tushingham, director Jonathan L. Green has utilized his 15 person ensemble to employ mostly group speak that finds from three to five to the entire cast all speaking simultaneously the words of the story. Add the group synchronized movement to the chorus and Idomeneus becomes an enchanting, ofter powerful, theatrical experience. Thus stylistic storytelling gives depth and emotional impact to the narrative of the Trojan War as well as bringing out the weird world where myth, history and fantasy converge.
The story becomes muddled as the line between reality and perception becomes confused despite the creative staging and the clever use of the totally committed ensemble. Seldom will use see a finer cast of local non-Equity show all committed to an ensemble approach to storytelling. Indomeneus is a kaleidoscope of monsters, mythmaking and sudden, striking humor.
It is part war between nations ans part war between reason and superstition. Idomeneus is a most compelling and interesting dramatic experience. The sheer stylistic approach with the expert movement and synchronized speak adds a layer of interest that carries us through the complex story. Cory Proctor and Joey deBettencourt anchor the talented ensemble. Using the unique approach to telling a Greek myth work here. The adventurous deftly explores how a community tells a story even with contradictions and disagreements. Director Green may have found how to tell a convoluted Greek myth in a way that hooks audiences and keeps them involved throughout. This is a worthy hour of creative theatre.
For for more info checkout the Idomeneus page at theatreinchicago.com
At the DCASE Storefront theater, 66 E. Randolph, Chicago, IL, call 800-838-3006, tickets $25, $15 student, senior and industry, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3pm, running time is 60 minutes without intermission, through September 23, 2012