BWW Review: THE MARK OF CAIN at Synetic Theater

BWW Review: THE MARK OF CAIN at Synetic Theater
Kathy Gordon (Dark Angel)
and Ryan Sellers (Cain)
Photographer: Johnny Shryock

All evil and ruthless power roots back to the story of Genesis. Specifically, it goes back to Adam (Scott Brown) and Eve's (Tori Bertocci) son, Cain (Ryan Sellers), the first murderer. At least that's what director Paata Tsikrishvili seems to imply in his world premier show, THE MARK OF CAIN at Synetic Theater.

It is a surreal journey of how the birth of evil can be traced throughout history. In Tsikrishvili's piece, after Cain kills his brother Abel (Dallas Tolentino), he is shunned by God (Philip Fletcher) and instead guided by the Dark Angel (Kathy Gordon). You then follow Cain's influence overtime from ancient Rome through today's technologically implicated society. By doing so, THE MARK OF CAIN illustrates the corruptive nature of power.

It does all of this without dialogue, only movement. I was mystified initially how Tsikrishvili would tell this complex story in such a way, but a few minutes into watching the choreography (Irina Tsikrishvili) it was clear. The duo's direction must have been phenomenal, methodical and ultimately very well-rehearsed. It was truly amazing to watch the ensemble move effortlessly with each other and the music.

This is one those rare pieces where everyone had room to be creative and it all came together beautifully. The cast was amazing. Their attention to detail, full body control and thoughtfulness was clear in every scene. I can't personally comprehend their ability to be so reactive to each other simply through music cues. The sound design and musical direction (Irakli Kavsadze) was totally engulfing and transporting. The lighting design (Brian Allard) was imaginative and influential. To see the actors playing with The Shadows and lighting was a treat as well.

THE MARK OF CAIN is a heavy piece of theater, but more importantly, a beautifully executed and inventive show. It creates a relevant conversation on modern society through a story that is almost as old as time itself.

THE MARK OF CAIN is 80 minutes without an intermission.

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