Thursday October 19th 2017

“Idomeneus”

Sideshow Theatre Company is one of our young aggressive troupes that has as its mission statement that they want to mine the collective unconcious of the world we live in with limitless curiosity, drawing inspiration from familiar stories. They want their audiences to join in a communal experience of exploration. In their current production, “”Idomeneus”, they take us on a journey back in the historical days of Idomeneus, King of Crete, After years in battle he has promised that he will kill the first person he meets upon getting home, who turns out to be his son. Did he kill him? Is his son alive and if so, have the Gods been angered by his not keeping his word. Or is the person he believes to be his son an impostor. This is a sixty minute kaleidoscope of myths, an ensemble chorus and a start to a new war, that being between reason and superstition. The script by Roland Schimmelpfennig with translation by David Tushingham, is one filled with chorus members working together in telling this story of war and reasoning. Directed by Jonathan L. Green in the very intimate space  at the DCASE  Storefront Theater located at 66 East Randolph ( between Michigan and Wabash Avenues) on a sandbox type set by Joe Schermoly, this is 60 minutes of storytelling by the largest cast ever used by this company. I for one found it a bit confusing with the Greek Chorus taking on a multitude of roles as they tell the story, and while the ensemble is strong, perhaps a few less actors would have lessened the confusion for me.

The audience sits on three sides of a stage that is indeed a sandbox with one large rock ( there are some moments where the actors on the rock block the sight lines for audience members on the left corner and at one point, a light that is aimed at the rock becomes somewhat blinding, so avoid sitting on the left -center first two rows. Mac Vaughey’s other lighting effects work well and the interlude music written by Michael Huey adds to the overall picture these actors are painting. The movements (Katie Spellman) when the ensemble is doing “Greek Chorus” segments is very effective, but again, a few less people might have made it more enjoyable.

I certainly don’t want to put a damper on the skills of these actors, but unless you are into Greek Tragedy, you might want to look elsewhere for your theatrical experiences. I do think the ensemble is energetic and talented, but the story is not for everyone and there are a number of “F” word references, so bear that in mind when making your choices. The ensemble is made up of:

McKenzie Chinn,Katy Carolina Collins,Joshua Davis,Joey DeBettencourt, Matt Fletcher, Hank Hilbert,Ann James,Susaan Jamshidi,Danny Junod, Lona Livingston,Karie Miller,Kyra Morris,Cody Proctor,Dylan Stuckey and Nate Wheldon. These actors are indeed quality story tellers, I just didn’t care to much about the story itself.

“Idomeneus” will continue at the DCASE Storefront Theater through Sunday,September 23rd with performances as follows:

Thursdays,Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.

Tickets are $25,$15 for students and other discounts for Seniors and industry for select performances.                                       

Questions, or to purchase tickets, visit www.sideshowtheatre.org, call 800-838-3006. For groups, contact tickets @sideshowtheatre.org

To see more, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to review round-up and click at “Idomeneus”

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