Saturday, August 23, 2014

Review of The Hypocrites' All Our Tragic

Once upon a time I went on an adventure and it was called All Our Tragic. It was adapted and directed by Sean Graney from all of the existing Greek tragedies. It was about these seven sisters (Emily Casey, Erin Barlow, Tien Doman, Lindsey Gavel, and Dana Omar) who were in all of the different stories and they all would die oldest to youngest. They all age half a year for every year. The first section is about Herakles (Walter Briggs); the second section is about Oedipus (John Taflan) and his daughter Antigone (Barlow) and a boy named Hæmon (Luce Metrius) and his turtle; the third section is about the Trojan War and Agamemnon (Briggs) and Klytaimnestra (Doman) and Iphigenia (Gavel) and about Achilles (Metrius) and his son Neoptolemus (Zeke Sulkes); the fourth section was about what happens after the Trojan War and how bad it is. I call it an adventure instead of a play because I was at the theater for twelve hours. The play is so long because they have to get in all those Greek tragedies. You also get to eat. And you also get to go outside and go for walks and stuff like that. You don't have to be in your seat for the entire time. It is just a great experience because the writer and actors make it so you are never bored and it is funny but also scary and also sad. I also liked the experience of being able to talk to the actors during the intermission; how they didn't keep them cooped up the entire time. I loved this show and if I had the time I would definitely go back again. I think people should definitely go and see this show and then you can continue reading my review because otherwise there will be a lot of spoilers.

I thought that the first section was very funny because of the way that they portrayed Herakles. Because instead of being the usual heroic from the start Herakles he was a very confused Herakles at first. He wanted to be heroic but he didn't know what was heroic. I really liked Herakles' yell "Ah-he-ey!" because it sounded like a teenage boy's call. Well, he basically was a teenage boy but they think of him as an adult in their time. I really liked how Eurystheus (Maximillian Lapine) had his little thing where he would just say "shadows…os…os…os." He would pretend to have his own echo and move his arms like he was doing the shimmy. That was really funny because he didn't get how it was supposed to work. He would yell "I am the necromancer!!!" and put his legs like in a grand plié and put his arms up and his head up to the sky and there would be lightning. I thought that was funny because he always wanted more, so since he didn't get an echo he decided to make his own.

But you also sometimes hate Eurystheus because he makes Herakles kill two of his sons (Metrius, Christine Stulik), frighten the other Patroklos (Taflan) and chop off the arm of the daughter (Casey). I think that Herakles's wife (Doman) seemed like a nice person, but she could never be the nicest person she wanted to be because of her husband basically, because of the way they met. They didn't meet naturally; they met because Herakles saved her. Herakles is sort of a jerk but she falls in love with him anyway. All her niceness goes to him and so she doesn't have enough to come save her children from him. And Asterope (Barlow) shouldn't have taken Herakles's offer to come home with him but I think she was scared that he would get angry if she didn't. And she also kind of thought he was handsome. Philoktetes' (Danny Goodman) job was supposed to be to make Herakles stay true, but he failed because he was also scared of Herakles. I thought it was really funny how he had a fur cap but everybody thought it was a wig and basically it did look like a wig because it covered all his hair.

I really thought that Ægeus's(Sulkes) goat legs (costumes by Alison Siple) were really cool. The way that he walked in them, kind of crouching the entire time looked very realistic. I thought he seemed like a very nice person, but he also had some faults because when something went wrong he immediately didn't want to live anymore. The way that he wanted to die was by pickle. I thought that was funny because what kind of Greek tragedy has one of the heroes die by eating a pickle?! Death by pickle is way weirder than death by robe.

Médée (Omar) is kind of a jerk but you kind of understand why she is a jerk, because her husband Jason (Metrius) doesn't give her enough love. I thought that her hair wasn't actually bad (I thought it was kind of cute) but Jason said, "Here's some money so you can get a comb for that messy hair of yours." I thought, why does everyone hate her hair so much? It is actually pretty! Having a bad husband is not a good reason to kill your baby because the baby doesn't have anything to do with it. The story that Phèdra (Stulik) told about her son was kind of gross. I thought that she and Theseus (Ryan Borque) could have had a great relationship if he hadn't gone away for so long to go and kill the minotaur. In this play, boys are usually going to kill somebody, kill somebody by accident, or are going off to go and be with another woman. The men usually make the tragedy by not loving or by leaving.

I liked how in the second section all the characters had a secret that was revealed to everyone, including the audience, at different points in the show. I liked this because sometimes the audience knows a secret that the characters don't know and then it is only a surprise to the characters on stage. One of my favorite characters in this entire play was Hæmon who basically acted like a child throughout the play even though he asks Antigone to marry him because he really did love her and he always had loved her. But you sort of wish he had waited for a different time to ask her because her father had just died. They tried to trick Oedipus into coming back because there was a museum. I thought it was awesome how he had the turtle Cadmus for the entire time and the turtle was basically one of the only survivors by the end of it.

I also really liked Tiresias (Gavel) who was Hæmon's nanny. My mom told me that that character is usually a man. I really liked that change because then there is more suspense because she might be Hæmon's mother and also Creon (Sulkes) could be the actual father because they used to be dating. She is homeless for some of the play and she plays the spoons. But she doesn't really play the spoons; she more gets worse at the spoons each time. She is also a fortune teller, so most of this section happens because she is a fortune teller.

I thought that it was funny how Polynikes (Lapine) was like addicted to an energy drink and he steals bikes from little girls. I didn't think either one of the brothers, Polynikes or Eteokles (Geoff Button), would have either of them been good rulers. I think Antigone should have done it because she seemed more calm and more kind-hearted. To have a democratic state like Athens had would have been even better than Antigone, but I still think Antigone should have been part of the democratic state because she seemed like the most calm and generous person in the entire play basically. And also kind of the least stupid person.

When Oedipus took out his eyes, it was very very very disgusting because literally you could see his eyes come out of his sockets. And then he would throw them on the floor and you would hear a splat. It was so disgusting, but I loved it! Oedipus seemed like a very nice man but he made a lot of bad decisions because everything was happening too quickly for him. He just found out his wife (Stulik) was his mother and he just became king, so he didn't want to see any more, so he decided he wanted to pull out his eyes, which is not the best decision in my opinion.

The third section started out very sad because Agamemnon lied to his wife Klytaimnestra, lied to his daughter Iphigenia, lied to his son Orestes (Button), lied to his entire family and then killed his daughter. But the way that he lied was just so horrible because he lied about a wedding, so that means they spent a lot of money and did a lot of things--bought a wedding dress and got everyone ready for this wedding--and then it turns out he just wanted to kill his daughter for the sake of the army. Seriously? But there is no real sake of the army because she doesn't have anything to do with the army except that she's his daughter. And what really makes me angry is that he says she is going to get married to one of the most famous people in the world, Achilles, but then she is very very happy about everything until she finds out she's probably going to die today. Not good parenting, people!!!

I thought that Kassandra (Stulik) was a very troubled character. Because what she always did and thought was a good idea to get attention was to stick her knitting needles into her arm and start screaming the future. She was right about the future all the time, but sometimes there were a few little flaws like when she thinks Agamemnon is going to die in the war but then it happens after. The hearts (designed by Maya Marshall) I thought were kind of creepy. She didn't knit valentine hearts, she knit like a diagram of the human heart. I thought that Red Berry / Polyxena (Barlow) seemed like she was scared of a lot of different things, but she comes to a very sad end. I liked how she was very clueless at first but by the end she had learned a lot during the war. I also really liked her berry pajamas because they were very adorable.

I liked how they really made it clear that Achilles and Patroklos were a couple because it made it when Patroklos died even more sad. I liked how they were very open with each other and I think Patroklos would have cooked a very good dinner if they had gotten home after the war. Achilles is very noble and all the girls liked him and wanted to marry him but that just made Patroklos angry. But he still wanted to help Iphigenia. I liked how Achilles' first armor kind of looked like a biker costume with the skull mask. But his second armor is a little bit less scary. It happens to be…a sweater. Which is not the most heroic thing ever.

I thought that the sheep (made by Kristine Herne) were hilarious. I loved it when Agamemnon said, "Maybe I just don't like YOU!" and all the sheep went "ooooh" a sheep voices. The crowd erupted in laughter. I also liked it how Ajax (Lapine) was having visions of all the sheep being like commanders and stuff.

The beginning of the fourth part was a little bit disgusting because of the way Klytaimnestra wanted to kill her husband. She wanted to kill him by stabbing him with his own giant stick basically through his back, which is not very nice in my opinion. She did have an excuse; her excuse is that he killed their daughter. He is a terrible person if he kills his daughter just because the gods said so to turn his boat around. Those gods suck!!! Also, Agamemnon brings back Kassandra, who is the knitting-needles-poke-yourself lady, as his spear bride. If you don't know what a spear bride is, you can learn it from me, Ada Grey! A spear bride is a souvenir from war which is a woman. I thought it was really funny how there was like a five-minute conversation between Klytaimnestra and Agamemnon: "Who am I?" "My wife?" "Who's she?" "My spear bride!" That goes on and on for so long that every time he says "My spear bride!" everyone bursts into laughter. You would be disturbed out of your mind if they didn't try to make it funny.

The island scene where there was the hoodoo witch, was the weirdest scene in this entire play. Because what kind of Greek Tragedy takes place on a hoodoo island? This one, I guess. So Menelaus (Borque) and his wife/spear bride Helen (Casey), who happened to be the youngest seven sister, are shipwrecked on this island and then they meet another Helen who was supposed to be trapped here all along by an evil hoodoo witch. It is really weird because then at the end he gets very confused that there are two Helens, so he goes and chops off one of their heads and hopes that he chopped off the head of the witch. Helen is basically like a character in a Katy Perry music video, a character who is a teenager who dresses up as a princess and paints little girls' faces as a summer job.

Hermione (Barlow) this entire time they are on the witch hoodoo island has been planning a surprise party with canons going off, and crazy party stuff, and wine spritzers. She has been planning this but then bandits--Orestes and Pylades (Taflan) trying to run away because Orestes has killed his mother--break in and eat the cake. Then her parents come in and to try to make up for the cake she lets out beautiful confetti which later they find out is made basically of glass. I thought that made Hermione seem pretty stupid.

Elektra is way more smart, but she is kind of crazy too. She likes to wear mud all over herself because her mother killed her father. She can't control herself and throws mud at everyone and cries and just is angry basically all the time. Then people want to take her away to a school of very depressed marms. And then Pylades pretends to be one of the evil people who work at the school. And then he punches this guy in the face and puts up his arms in victory but is still completely deadpan. I thought that Pylades one of the most hilarious characters because what he is is someone who is basically quiet all the time and is like a secret agent for Orestes, but he also tries to give people hugs, but no one wants a hug from him. You kind of feel sorry for him, but he doesn't seem all that sad.

People who would like this show are people who like turtles, spear brides, and death by pickle. I think that everyone should go and see this show and take all their friends. I loved it so much! It it not just sad and funny, it also makes you appreciate the relationships that you have with your family.

Photos: Evan Hanover

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