Sarah Ruhl’s adaptation of the Greek myth directed by David Barker, “Eurydice,” has taken to the Mesa Community College Theatre stage, and the sum of the various elements is a whimsical meditation on relationships.
Comprised of a small cast of seven onstage performers in eight roles, each character is essential to the plot.
This focuses the viewer on the individual performances, which were interesting to observe.
The story is a modernized retelling of a Greek tale, the focus of the play, however, is on Eurydice in the afterlife, rather than Orpheus’ attempt to rescue her.
The deeper theme of how people deal with loss is expertly navigated in the interactions between each character, and their asides to the audience.
The production utilizes imagery to represent flowing water, the building of a room using unlikely materials, in an almost abstract way that is pleasing to the eye.
What I most enjoyed about watching “Eurydice” in person was seeing how the fun, dynamic choreography communicated what was going on in the plot beyond what mere words could.
At times interactions between characters talking looked like a dance; Eurydice twirled as if to pirouette at one point.
The blunt honesty of Eurydice drew laughter, and I found her method of speaking was refreshing.
Lillian Gastelum did a great job of bringing Eurydice to life, and communicated her lines in a manner that felt genuine.
The brash bluster of Brandon Caraco’s Orpheus, confident that he is capable of anything, and passion for Eurydice set up the inevitable tragic ending of the story.
Seamus McSherry as the doting father of Eurydice expressed the warmth of a father’s love, and his rattling off street directions as he jumped and twisted around was an interesting use of movement that made the performance dynamic.
My favorite moments during the evening were when the chorus of stones, played by Alexis Trujillo, Annalynn Watson and Nathaniel Smith, would chime in with their unpopular opinions, irritating the other characters in a way that played to the crowd.
The erratic way that they moved around drew my eye on more than one occasion, and I found myself fixating on them even when that was probably not intended.
Jared Kitch took on two roles in the play, as Nasty Interesting Man and Lord of the Underworld.
If creeped out and disconcerted were the feelings he sought to evoke, then he should consider his performance a resounding success.
The sound design of the play had a very modern aesthetic.
The eruption of heavy metal that played whenever the Lord of the Underworld appeared made an impression, and even during the break classic rock songs could be heard, as if played off in the distance.
Nothing sounded out-of-place or odd that I can recall, and suited the action that was happening at the time.
I liked the use of lighting, and how even when one portion of the stage was in the spotlight, red lighting showed the other performers, who continued to move and even react to what was going on in the spotlight.
The makeup and costumes meshed well; the Lord of the Underworld wore an elaborate outfit that was evocative of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and stood in contrast to the rest of the designs.
The use of string and rope as props, along with letters the characters used to communicate between the worlds of the living and dead did the job of showing the audience what was happening, but the most unique props were the damaged umbrella and suitcase Eurydice carried with her when she arrived in the afterlife.
The umbrella looked very cool; the small lights that were built into it and the weathered appearance were nice touches.
“Eurydice” is a play that I thoroughly recommend.
The play runs through Dec. 9 at the MCC Theatre, 1833 W. Southern Ave. Tickets start at $9.
– Mesa resident Kian Hagerman is a Mesa Community College journalism intern for MyNewsMesa.com.