Lascivious Something

 

By Sheila Callaghansignal ensemble

Directed by Ronan Marra

At Signal Ensemble Theatre, Chicago

Weird, unfocused psycho-sexual drama is unsatisfying

Signal Esnsemble Theatre usually mounts terrific and unique  plays that feature tight direction and excellent acting. That was particularly true with their latest, Sheila Callachan’s Lascivious Something. We enjoy the nuanced and emotionally wrenching performance from Georgann Charuhas as Lisa. Joseph McCauley (August), Simone Roos (Daphine), and Cassidy Shea Stirtz (Boy) each were fine.

signal ensemble

But my problem with Signal’s latest is in the writing. The structure is unfocused, vague and confusing.  It starts to illicit sexual  sparks  then  it moves into weird antics and, ultimately ends leaving us completely unsatisfied.

Set on a secluded Greek island, an American ex-pat August is focused on wine making and his new Greek wife Daphine. August is a former left-wing radical. It is 1980 and Reagan is elected President.  Just before the first tasting of August’s new wind, an unexpected female visits the island. Lisa is August old lover during his student activists days in California. The story is inspired by Greek tragedy from Euripides, Lascivious Something is a psychological sexually sparked drama filled with hints of  unfulfilled desires.

signal ensemble

The action in this love triangle is confusing. Why does the Daphne keep kissing the girl who she and August referrer to as Boy and why is Daphne okay August having sex with Lisa? Why does Lisa seem to befriend the pregnant Daphne when her purpose is to get August to return to the USA with her? As this slowly paced drama unfolds and erupts into a strange ending, I felt manipulated and unsatisfied.  I just don’t understand this play and I felt like I wasted my time since the weirdness of this work left me scratching my head in wonderment. These deeply flawed characters didn’t evoke enough empathy for me to care about them.  And that awful Greek accent by Simone Roos wore me out.  Signal Ensembles Theatre usually selects better play. This one just didn’t work for me.

Not Recommended

Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: May 12, 2013

Jeff Recommended

For more info checkout the Lascivious Something page at theatreinchicago.com

At Signal Ensemble Theatre, 1802 W.  Berenice, Chicago, IL, call 773-698-7389, www.signalensemble.com, tickets $20, $15 for industry/students/seniors, Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 3 pm, running time is 2 hours with intermission, through June 8, 2013