Saturday, December 15, 2007

Love, Death and Vengeance: A Comedy

Adding "A Comedy" to the title of a play is always dangerous, for it adds the high expectation of laughter to that show. Luckily, Daniel Kelley, like most of his cast, does sketch comedy, and he knows how to conjure up a laugh: in this case, it's by cramming every Greek myth he could remember into the show. Some scenes still seem too hastily sketched: Al Gibbins (Ben Correale) loses his high school crush, Lily Droshpat (Leah Rudick) because of a ketchup stain, and is thereby cursed by the lightning-clapped Will of High School to be a loveless player for the rest of his life. But the delightfully precise chorus (Katie Hartman, Rachel Risen, and John Moreno) remind us that the humor's been well planned. Though there are many things that will remain unclear about this production -- for instance, why are all the women in Hades blond Southern belles? -- the comedy is crystal, especially when the cast's more-is-more approach (at one point, Al promises to push a boulder up a hill, while wearing wings burned by the son, then to chain himself to a rock to have his liver picked out, &c., &c., all after blinding himself) blocks out the lack of a set and the cheap flickers of the lights. Extra credit to the adaptable Henry Zebrowski, who channels a certain sloppy sort of cool, and to Kelley's modern poetry: "You break our trust as if it were an unlubed condom."

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