This week in Theater
Review by Rose Desena
Love stories make for good theater, particularly when they are taken from charming Greek myths. Princess Psyche is so beautiful she angered the Goddess of love, Aphrodite. So Aphrodite’ son, Eros, is sent to cast a spell on her and Aphrodite’s scheme doesn’t quite go according to plan
He ends up falling in love with her and Aphrodite gets a little miffed about it. Aphrodite, in an attempt to reverse the situation, uses Psyche’s sisters to do her dirty work, and Psyche is deceived and brought to the Goddess den. Aphrodite puts the lovely Psyche through some impossible tests that may or may not allow her to be with her true love forever. The audience is taken into a world of mythical characters who are there to protect the princess.
The story of these to young love birds, Psyche and Eros, fill the stage of Greenway Court in the Rock Opera “Psyche”. The voices of Ashley Ruth (Psyche) and Laura L. Thomas (Aphrodite) were stunning and filed every inch of the theater with raw power.
The choreography, by Janet Roston, is inventive with a mix of modern and classical dance moves. Michael Matthews directs the large cast with precision. The staging is excellent and fits somewhere between a rock video and a live video game, highly stylized and very entertaining. The show is narrated with words that run across a screen above the stage, and it moves us through the story and adds a few laughs.
Cindy Shapiro wrote the book the lyrics and the music; she is talented to say the least. However, both the music and the lyrics had a repetitiveness to them, making the show drag. This is filled in with some unnecessary dialog and to my ear the music sounded the same. It did distract a little from the overall production but not enough perhaps to make a difference to some.
The producer, cast, and crew seemed totally committed and the show is very well presented with detailed costumes and a dramatic set. It has potential to go to NYC or Chicago but I do think it could use some tweaking and perhaps adding another composer for some input. A full length musical is a giant task and most are developed with a few writers and developers for precisely the reasons I mentioned above.
This is fun and if you have teenagers at home bring them along and give them a new twist on some good old mythology,
Book, Music and Lyrics by Cindy Shapiro
Musical Direction by Jack Wall
Choreography by Janet Roston
Directed by Michael Matthews
Sunday, August 24 at 7pm; Wednesday, August 27 & Thursday, August 28 at 8pm
Opens: Friday, August 29, 2014 at 8pm and runs through Sunday, September 28
Performances: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm; Sundays at 7pm.
Tickets: $34.99 Preview Tickets are $25.00
All performances at
Greenway Court Theatre
544 North Fairfax
Los Angeles, CA 90036
For Tickets: please visit www.psycherockopera.com or call 323.655.7679 x100