Playwright B. Walker Sampson”™s Alceste is a free adaptation of a tragedy by Euripides, written circa 438 BC., and is enjoying its world premiere at Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood. In this tragicomic drama we follow the passage of Alceste (Lorianne Hill in a intimate and graceful performance). When we first meet Alceste, she is embarking upon a daunting journey as she is separating from her lifetime partner Adamet (sensitively played by Trevor Olsen) and being ferried to the underworld.
Review by Lucy Griffin
Along the way we meet the “˜ordinary so and so”™s”™ of Alceste”™s passage. Loosely narrated by the charming Thisbit and Pie (side-splittingly played by Cat Davis and Rick Steadman) the story gets a bit hard to follow, thanks to its abundance of secondary plot lines.
The usual constraints of the small theatre space, however, were no obstacle for the immense talent on stage and the colossal story they told.Â Such illusions of grandeur were created by the excellent production team and design elements led by director Darin Dahms, with set and prop design Naomi Kasahara, lighting and sound by Mike Roman and Ryan Brodkin and Takashi Morimoto”™s costuming.Â Along Alceste”™s journey we meet The Ferryman at Large (Ezra Buzzington) – the man designed to chauffeur her into her untimely fate; Man with a Blazing Necktie (Lynn O”™Dell whose power seems to rule the stage in every production she appears); the man who wants to take her body”™s space and unleash his oracle siren in sexy swimsuit glory (the alluring Jennifer Flack); and Frigga Brenda (Julia Prud”™homme), the somewhat defeated and comical super-heroine version of Hercules.
B. Walker Sampson wrote this play with gifted actors in mind and director Darin Dahms had no qualms in using them to their fullest extent. It is amazing to see Sampson’s imagination at play on the stage, frolicking through the genius hands of Julia Prud”™homme or settling in the lulling tunes of cult fave Ezra Buzzington (both who gave my favorite performances of the night).Â The text needs some trimming in order to make the voice of this play a clearer one, but it was carried beautifully by its unbelievably pliable cast and poignant references – especially those made to the hissing of life”™s ending scaring us around every corner and challenging us to face what we will be leaving when we”™re gone.
Don”™t miss this production.
1517 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028
Running now through March 12th, 2011
Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm.; Sundays at 7pm.
(Ensure you arrive with time to park)
2 hours, with a ten-minute intermission
$18.00 student and senior
(Research special price days)
Theatre of NOTE is a non-profit democratic company that stage dives the arena of the theaterÂ arts. Founded in 1981, our ensemble-based organization is dedicated to providing a creative environment in which to collaborate on and develop maverick theater.