BWW Reviews: The Aurora Fox Theatre Presents a Mythological Masterpiece with METAMORPHISIS
The Aurora Fox Studio Theatre presents Mary Zimmerman's instant classic, METAMORPHOSES playing now through September 22nd. Metamorphoses is comprised of nine inter?related tales based on ancient Greek and Roman mythology, each enacted in and around a large pool of water in the newly upgraded Fox Studio Theatre. Using contemporary language and familiar characters, such as King Midas and his golden touch; the everlasting love of King Ceyx and his wife Alcyone; Orpheus and Eurydice in the underworld; and the heartwarming tale of mortals Baucis and Philemon, the play explores the inevitability of change and the transformative powers of love.
Growing up, my father loved to recount tales of Greek mythology and I would listen to his stories with a sense of wonder and awe. These same feelings and sense of nostalgia resurfaced when I experienced this masterpiece. This production is not so much a play, but rather a piece of mythological art that has the audience transfixed from beginning to end. These cherished stories (and some forgotten classics) get a new breath of life and a newly found appreciation through a web of comedy, drama, romance and with traces of Cirque de Soleil. And the set and pool are so original and creative in design that it is truly something to behold (Underwater Exit!!!) This is an amazing revitalization of the Greek classics and I will forever cherish this masterful work of art.
This is such an amazingly cohesive ensemble that I choose not to single out individual performances, so I will mention them as a unit. This fantastic group of talented actors is comprised of Zachary Andrews (loved his dramatic portrayal as King Ceyx, his silent Narcissus was quite humorous, and his Eros was eye-candy); Michelle Y. Hurtubise (her Alcyone was enticing and superb, and her Philemon was so adorable); Jaimie Morgan (her Aphrodite was deliciously menacing and Hunger was just creepy); Michael Morgan (his King Midas as charismatic and I loved his sarcastic Apollo); Carmen Vreeman (her Myrrha and Eurydice were absolutely haunting); Justin Walvoord (his Erysichthon was dynamic and excellent and his Vertumnus was just funny and fun); Ryan Wuestewald (his Silenus and Phaeton were hilarious and his Baucis was so sweet); and Jada Roberts (a charismatic storyteller with a voice that I could listen to all day).
Geoffrey Kent achieved new heights in directing with his thoughtful and thorough concepts in blocking, movement, choreography and use of the elements and these sensational actors. The show flowed like...well...water - weaving from one scene to the next with fluid ease and keeping the audience transfixed throughout. Honestly, I cannot think of one thing that was in error or grossly out of place. Job extremely well done! Scenic Design Charles Dean Packard deserves an award for this stunning and creative set Seriously....UNDERWATER EXIT!!). From that amazing pool and deck, to the alcoves and the balcony, this unique concept completely transformed the small blackbox space into something truly extraordinary. I also absolutely loved the added water effects that had me and the audience in jaw dropping awe. Lighting designer Shannon McKinney and Sound designer William Burns were also carefully thought out and enhanced the actions in and out of the water. I appreciated that they were conscious to amplify those natural water sounds (the dripping and rushing of water) and adding lights on the pool so the ripples reflecting from the water illuminated the stage was just gorgeous. Meghan Anderson Doyle made wise choices with her costume designs to make sure they looked good when wet. I also enjoyed all the various accessories that were added to enhance the many characters that the ensemble played.
I give a standing ovation to the entire cast and crew for one of the most thought out and expertly crafted and executed shows that I have ever seen! Now, this is a special message to the producers of the show and the Aurora Fox Theatre - due to the high demand and sold out performances, I would urge you to extend the show for just one more week. I just don't want to see you make the same mistake as you did when you couldn't extend the highly praised and well-attended THE COLOR PURPLE!
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