Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.
Ruhl has reinterpreted the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in a way that may not have occurred to anyone before: to tell it from the heroine's viewpoint. The story traditionally focuses on the efforts of the musician Orpheus to rescue his beloved Eurydice from the land of the dead, but the greater journey is hers.
In this retelling, directed fluidly if with little nuance by Derek Goldman, Orpheus (Adriano Gatto) and Eurydice (Jenna Sokolowski) are a contemporary couple, he a dreamer whose love of music drowns out most commonplace concerns, she more grounded. Her death, immediately following their wedding, is not an accident as in the myth; rather, it's brought about by a manipulative figure called the Nasty Interesting Man (Mitchell Hébert), who reappears as the overgrown spoiled child who runs the underworld.
Eurydice's experiences in the realm of the dead are more interesting, specifically the growing interplay between her and her dead father (Harry A. Winter). Ruhl includes her version of a Greek chorus in these scenesthree personifications of stones described as Big Stone (KenYatta Rogers), Little Stone (Linden Taylor), and Loud Stone (Susan Lynskey)but the cleverness of the conceit soon becomes tiresome.
Clint Ramos' scenic design effortlessly shifts between the worlds of the living and the dead, with towers built of scaffolding and, most intriguingly, an industrial elevator inside which rain falls constantly. A stream bisects the stage floor, serving both as a place of earthly beauty and an unearthly river of forgetfulness. Kathleen Geldard's costumes play up the fantastic nature of the afterlife, with the stones in bright, mismatched outfits that make them resemble rag dolls and the malevolent Lord of the Underworld in a velvet suit with short pants.
Round House Theatre