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Eurydice
UNM Department of Theatre and Dance

Eurydice
Carly Moses, Mason Tuck, Hayley Mervini, Alexandra McCrary and Riel Lawlor
This month, the UNM Department of Theatre and Dance and the student production group SCRAP present Eurydice, a modern retelling of the ancient myth about Orpheus and Eurydice, written by Sarah Ruhl and directed by Matthew McVey Lee. Orpheus and Eurydice are lovers who decide to get married, but on their wedding day Eurydice is tricked by a Nasty Interesting Man (Kevin O'Boyle) who says he has a letter from her deceased father. After trying to steal the letter, Eurydice dies suddenly (presumably by falling through a high window, as implied by the staging and sound effects). The rest of the play takes place primarily in the Underworld, ruled by the Lord of the Underworld (also O'Boyle) and populated by a trio of stones (Riel Lawlor, Hayley Mervini and Alexandra McCrary). Eurydice is reunited with her father while Orpheus tries to communicate with her through letters and eventually devises a plan to use his musical talent to save Eurydice.

The sets and costumes are memorable. The Underworld is gloomy and cave-like, and the minimalist set and lighting design successfully convey the feeling of being in a damp, cold, lonely place. The stones speak in semi-unison, creating an echo effect with every line of dialogue. Their costumes are the best in the production: in long gowns of muted colors, the stones look like a single rock formation when they sit or stand together; one wears a headpiece that simultaneously emulates the towering fashion of Marie Antoinette and a rocky stalagmite.

Carly Moses delivers a strong lead performance; her bright eyes and focused expressions contribute to her intense presence onstage. O'Boyle is impressive as both the Nasty Interesting Man and Lord of the Underworld. As the former, he provides just the right amount of sneer and sleaziness to make the audience instantly distrust him. As the latter, his calculated yet sporadic movements give the impression that he is ready to snap at any moment and, while his performance is sometimes humorous, he keeps his character unlikable and slightly frightening to the end. Orpheus is played by Caedmon Holland, who successfully conveys his character's combined love for Eurydice and music, although it would strengthen his performance if he were to use proper conducting gestures. Mason Tuck's performance as Eurydice's father is slightly one-dimensional; he delivers most of his lines with the same tone and facial expression, which hinder the onstage relationship between father and daughter because there is little sense of parental love.

Eurydice runs for two more performances, March 15th and 17th at 7:30pm, in the Experimental Theatre on UNM campus. Tickets are $12 general, $10 UNM faculty and seniors, and $8 UNM staff and students. For tickets and information, call the UNM ticket office at 505-925-5858 or visit www.unmtickets.com.

--Sarah Parro



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