BWW Review: METAMORPHOSES at Stagecrafters 2nd Stage was an Extraordinary Piece of Michigan Theatre to Experience!

BWW Review: METAMORPHOSES at Stagecrafters 2nd Stage was an Extraordinary Piece of Michigan Theatre to Experience!

Have you experienced a theatre show that completely transports you to another world? That was the experience watching Metamorphoses on the Stagecrafters 2nd Stage of the Baldwin Theatre in Royal Oak. Running from April 13th-22nd, it was a show that all the pieces fell into place - from the performers to the set - making it an extraordinary piece of Michigan theatre.

Metamorphoses is based on the classic myths of Ovid and was originally written and directed by Mary Zimmerman with original music composed by Willy Schwartz. This production is a rarely seen theatrical marvel that unfolds around a giant pool of water. Amid this aquatic setting, mythological figures come to life in a series of innovative vignettes that retell ancient myths in a contemporary voice. Among them: the story of King Midas is told by his laundresses; Phaeton sees a therapist about his coldly distant father, Apollo; and the tale of Narcissus takes a surprising turn.

Jody Florkowski directed this production of Metamorphoses and did not miss any detail. From the moment you enter the theatre and sit down, the pool of water was calling out for attention. Florkowski does a fantastic job of seamlessly incorporating this magnificent set piece into the show without letting it overpower his performers or the message the show was trying to get across through each vignette. He also did a wonderful job of casting a group of ten performers who play 78 characters during the span of 90 minutes so effortlessly on the stage together. It was easy to see that no detail was overlooked by Florkowski and everything was thought out so the audience truly felt they were being told stories by the gods.

Dan Rose designed an incredible set for Metamorphoses. A gorgeous, functioning pool of water was on the stage for the cast to play in and utilize to the full potential of the script.

The cast of Metamorphoses as a whole were whimsical and wonderful to watch, but there are a standouts to mention. Josh Allor was just exceptional on the stage; there is simply no other way to explain him. He transformed from character to character with ease that each one was completely different and enjoyable. Rachel Biber was outstanding in everything she did on stage as well. She, also, transformed from character to character with such ease that each one was remarkable to watch. Some of the best moments during the show were when Allor and Biber were together - whether it be comedic or dramatic moment, they have a great stage chemistry. Cassie Najor was a great performer throughout the show. What Najor really stood out for was her movement - beautiful dancing, lines, fluidity, everything - even when she walked; she had a beautiful grace about her. The rest of the cast includes Nyla Addis, Brian T. Moultrup, Maria Ochoa, Katelyn O'Neill, Matthew Rindfleisch, Aaron Sohaski, Brian Tuscany, and Mike Vultaggio.

Metamorphoses was a once in lifetime show at the Stagecrafters 2nd Stage. It was brilliant piece of Michigan theatre that will be remembered because it was innovative, had a talented cast that was guided by a smart director, and was just pure joy to watch. A theatre experience like Metamorphoses is what all theatre should strive to be! Bravo to all involved!

Metamorphoses ran April 13th-22nd at the Stagecrafters 2nd Stage of the Baldwin Theatre in Royal Oak. For more information on Stagecrafters and their current season, visit www.stagecrafters.org.

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