Beth Tantanella, Ebony Jordan, Jake Beamer & Cara McHugh in Oedipus Rex: The Original MF
Photo-The Bard’s Town
Oedipus Rex: The Original MF
Adapted and written by The Bard’s Town ensemble
Review by Kate Barry
Entire contents are copyright © 2014 Kate Barry. All rights reserved.
Oedipus Rex sure had a tough hand dealt to him, didn’t he? No matter what he did, tragedy just seemed to follow him. Yes indeed, Oedipus is one cautionary tale that has been examined, performed and utilized in many psychological studies. It is a story that we are all familiar with and probably had to read aloud in high school, which is why it is so easy to make fun of! The Bard’s Town’s installment at the Slant Culture Festival is the perfect parody of the Greek tragedy.
Mashing up a “Choose Your Own Adventure” motif with a drinking game, (PBR’s are only three dollars a can BTW), provides for a whole new level of audience participation. Jake Beamer, Ebony Jordan, Cara McHugh and Beth Tantanella are a tight ensemble, which guide the audience in this boozy rendition of Oedipus. As a cast, they play off each other well, walking a tightrope between scripted lines and seemingly improvised banter. Individually playing the parts of Jocasta, Oedipus, Laius and even Sigmund Freud, these actors earned each laugh honestly.
Amidst the topical jokes about Jennifer Lawrence and Ebola that are sewn into the play, I began to realize the point of all the silliness that was displayed before me. The improvisational structure of the play is goofy and random which strongly emphasizes that all of the events that happened to Oedipus were determined by fate. No matter how absurd things get within the interactive premise, The Bard’s Town ensemble still manages to get Jocasta killed and Oedipus banished. Once I realized the underlying message, I really started to appreciate the humor of this piece much more.
If you get a chance to check out any show during the Slant Culture festival, I highly recommend The Bard’s Town Theater’s smart and edgy rendition of Oedipus. And since you choose the action on stage, the play is bound to get better and funnier each time!
The program includes this warning:
This show contains strong language intended for mature audiences & elicits audience drinking (drinking is not required).
Oedipus Rex: The Original MF
Part of the Slant Culture Theatre Festival
The Bard’s Town Theatre Ensemble
1123 Payne Street
Louisville, KY 40204
Friday, November 14 – 10:30 pm
Saturday, November 15 – 7:30 pm
Saturday, November 22 – 9:30 pm
[box_light]Kate Barry earned her Bachelors in English with a Theater minor from Bellarmine University in 2008. She has worked with many different companies around town including Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Bunbury Theater, Louisville Repertory Company, Walden Theater, Finnigan Productions and you have probably purchased tickets from her at that little performing arts center on Main Street as well. In 2012, her short play “PlayList” won festival favorite in the Finnigan Festival of Funky Fresh Fun. She has written for Leo Weekly and TheatreLouisville.com as well. Thanks for reading![/box_light]