"DIONYSUS WAS SUCH A NICE MAN" AT WILMA THEATER
Written by : kate Tarker
Directed by Dominique Serrand
Set by Kristen Robinson
"Dionysus was such a nice man" is kind of based on Greek Myth but it's content is much more contemporary except some names and refrences similar to the Greek classic mythology.
There is a family of a shepard Polybus (Luverne Seifert) his wife, Merope (Melanye Finister) his daughter, Alcinoe (Taysha Marie Conoles). The shepard is mostly drunk, thus a refrence to Dionysus who was considered a god of wine. Alcinoe is not frustrated at the farm but still unhappy because she doesn't like what she sees in her family, and Merope, the wife is pretty absurd in her exoticness. It's a picture of a disfunctional family. They were given a son in a basket, Oedipus who disappeared at the age of 18 and the shepered decides to clebrate Oedipus who is now the king of Thebes to come home when shepered turns 50.
The whole story is not that clear and it's messy indeed. The set doesn't help much. The farmhouse is supposed to be on the top of a hill and the hill , the way it's designed is quite awkward. We feel nervous for the actors when they try to slide down the hill. There is a rape trial as well. I guess the daughter had been raped and the result of the trial is murky.
But the daughter likes to be at the farm beside all the other stuff surrounding her because to be the shepered's daughter is a higher credit.
Oedipus (Keith Conallen) does come back but he is blind now but still attracted to his mother
Merope. The ending is tragic which is very much like Greek tragic myths, so one can say that there are symbols of greeks here. The play tries very hard so does the actors but somehow we can't really concentrate on the story especially in the first act which is pretty scattered. I guess it can be tuned a bit with a bit of editing and a bit of clarity. I neverthe less really enjoyed the perforance of Melanye Finister in the role of Merope. She has great stage presence, good vocal ability and majestic movement skill and charming and exotic manner. I would love to atch her in another play.
But I do enjoy Wilma theater's productions. They mostly do wonders. I have enjoyed a few shows
at this great theater in the past.
REVIEWED BY BINA SHARIF FOR artsinternational
BINA SHARIF, EDITOR/PUBLISHE: artsinternational.blogspot.com