Sunday, February 6, 2011

Saturday night Odyssey

The Greek myths are a tangle of heroism, infidelity, and adventure. I confess that I've had a hard time keeping the stories of Homer's Odyssey straight. Until yesterday, that is.

My friend Kim shared an extra ticket to the Taproot Theatre production of the Odyssey. We headed into town, detouring through neighborhoods to avoid the crippled freeway down to 85th (accident at 45th on I5 southbound).

I don't know what I was expecting, but the packed room (seats maybe 150?) with close proximity to the action made the production an adventure for the audience.

Odysseus the hero, who left home to conquer Troy 20 years before, is on his way home. He shows and tells his adventures along the way. Finally, the Sirens (hilarious lines), the Cyclops (love those props!), and the roles of kings, islands, and oarsmen make sense. With great lighting and sound, Taproot makes this weird trip home interesting, exciting, and almost believable. We rooted for the hero, even while groaning at his frail mortality.

On the sidewalk en route to the parking lot, Kim and I commented how mystifying it is that scholars base real characters and history on a few surviving copies of myths told by Homer and other Greek authors, while rejecting the hundreds and thousands of fragments of scripture that have survived. I guess most of us we choose to believe what causes us the least personal change and discomfort.

Who should see this? For sure, students in elementary and high school, college kids muddling their way through the classics, and people who love to read but get stumped by the translations and wordiness of Greek literature. Probably wouldn't hurt anyone interested in cultural literacy.

Looking for a special gift for Valentine's day? How about a year's subscription for you and your friend at an intimate theater with a great variety of plays? Take the youth group on a cultural outing that helps spur conversation? Good fun, learn something new, and get inspired by your own faith.

Click here for a guide to the show

1 comment:

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