DRUNKEN WITH WHAT
A TARGET MARGIN THEATER PRODUCTION
Reviewed by BINA SHARIF
DRUNKEN WITH WHAT is a study of Mourning Becomes Electra by O'Neill which is
based on the reworking of themes from Greek Tragedy, ORESTEIA By Aeschylus.
In the ancient times the word tragedy was dedicated and blamed on fate. "Tragedy was considered a flaw in nature and thus its result was predetermined by Kismet/fate. But in modern times the word, "tragedy" has a different take on things and can be analyzed more as a motivational psychological theory. But in O'Neill's Mourning Become Electra on which Drunken With What is based is for sure
a Greek Myth in which fate asserts a major blow.
Drunken With What as Mourning Becomes Electra has characters parallel from Greek play, Oresteia.
General Ezra, the father--Agamemnon
Christine, the mother--Clytemnestra
Orin, the son--Orestes
Lavinia, the daughter--Electra
And what a brave undertaking by David Herskovits to reintroduce the epic trilogy to the new audience who might not have read or seen O'Neill's Opus.
Though Drunken With What is compressed and many scenes have been taken out of the original
play, it makes perfect sense in the telling of the story.
The play takes place in New England after the Civil War where Lavinia, the dutiful daughter is waiting for the return of her father, General Ezra. She is also in love with Captain Adam and is horrified to find out that her mother Christine, ( Brilliant Stephanie Weeks) is having an affair with him as well. Consumed with jealousy she confronts her mother leading to mad anger, adultery and murder. When the General comes home, Christine Poisons him and Lavinia and her brother who is also very fond of his mother, (Incest perhaps? ) Try to take revenge.
Revenge, a major theme of all Greek tragedy always wins but actually no one wins at the end.
Drunken With What is directed very well with no fuss on the set and props. A minimal setting forwards the story in a clear and coherent manner. Actors are all very good though I couldn't hear Lavinia, (Eunice Wong ) very clearly first but she became better eventually.
I also enjoyed Mary Neufeld as Seth, the narrator/gardner.
Overall it was a reaffirming experience of a great classic
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