Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Metamorphoses"

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note: entire contents copyright 2008 by Larry Stark


by Mary Zimmerman
Directed by Danielle Leeber

Dance Captain Apolonia Davalos
Set Design by David Jeffrey
Lighting Design by Jeremy Goodman
Costume Design by Deb Shea
Properties Manager Jessica Moran
Running Crew Natalie Cabral
Technical Director David Lucas
Master Carpenter John Aslanian
Assistant Stage Manager Rebecca Jackson
Stage Manager Tori Woodhouse

Megan Atkinson

Woman by The Water, Third Laundress, Aphrodite, Oread, Psyche, Baucis

Krista d'Agostino

Alcyone, Ceres, Pandora, Persephone, Pamona, Woman at The Door

Apolonia Davalos

Second Laundress, Iris, Atalanta, Singer, Myrrha

Dan Kerrigan

Midas, Hades, Apollo, Off-Stage Voice

David Lucas

Zeus, Sleep, Erysichthon, Cinyras

Christopher Lyons

Servant, Morphys/Ceys, Singer, Phaeton, Philemon

Jonathan Overby

Bacchus, Poseidon, Hermes, Vertumnus, A.

Joey Pelletier

Silenus, Buyer, Orpheus, Eros

Julia Specht

First Laundress, Lucina, Spirit of Tree, Eurydice, Q.

Kaili Turner

Scientist, Singer, Erysichthon's Mother, Nursemaid, Therapist

Barbara Woodall

Midas' Daughter, Hunger

Even Artistic Director Danielle Leeber will admit that a director never works alone. For "Metamorphoses" she had a lovely set from David Jeffrey and David Lucas and John Aslanian, careful lighting from Jeremy Goodman, her play ran with the precise patience of Natalie Cabral, Rebecca Jackson and Tori Woodhouse --- and Mary Zimmerman had carved the words out of a spill of stories by Publius Ovidius Naso that have been delighting readers ever since a few years before the birth of Christ. But none of them could bring into being this brilliant bare-bones, acrobatic spray of laughter and tears without a "dream cast" of eleven young actors, most of whom have begun to bloom in the past half-dozen years. They are, already, among the best in Boston.

For instance the first words of the play are uttered by Megan Atkinson who just moved here from Atlanta and after this first show has already sewn up work through the beginning of next season. As with everyone in this multi-role cast, she goes from "Third Laundress" to Aphrodite, the goddess of lust (Ovid's other best-seller, remember, is "The Art of Love"!) with only a new, regal costume and a divinely rippling gesture of one hand.

Or Krista d'Agostino, out of Boston College in 2005 with a theater arts degree. Watch her as Pamona (on her way to becoming goddess of orchards) flitting eagerly from tree to tree while Jonathan Overby's smitten god of Spring tries to tell her he's in love. (He got here a couple years ago from Azuza Pacific University on the Left Coast). But as they sit and he tells her another story of love, watch her face as mouth and eyes respond to every nuance of the tale.

The tale features Dance Captain Apolonia Davalos (also a bouncy Iris) as a girl in love with her own father, and turned to a Myrrh-plant at her disovery. She's from Manhattan's American Musical and Dramatic Academy.

I met Joey Pelletier five years ago at an 11:11 Theatre production (which moved here from Iowa), before he premiered a new musical called "Duplex" and just finished in Zeitgeist's "Blowing Whistles". He starts in this show as a drunken Silenus, fruitlessly visits hell as Orpheus (lovely Julia Specht is his doomed Eurydice), and dons beautiful wings to play Eros (to Meg Atkinson's Psyche).

Christopher Lyons, from the Eastman School and Boston Conservatory, plays a very hip Phaeton demanding to drive dad's car --- his dad (Dan Kerrigan, who breaks his greedy heart as Midas) is Apollo, the car's the Sun, but luckily the earth's only temporarily set on fire. (Kerrigan was in Boston College three years ago.)

David Lucas, who plays Zeus, Sleep, Erysichthon and Cinyras is the company's Tech Director, while Kaili Turner (from UMass Boston) takes the stage as some key "second banana's" like Myrrha's nursemaid, and wry commentators like a scientist and a psychotherapist.

And let's not forget Barbara Woodall, playing a clinging Hunger as well as Midas' Daughter. She has only put "Annie" "Christmas Carol" "Peter Pan" "Alice in Wonderland" and "Once on This Island" into her resume in the five years she's been working here --- but then, right now she's only eleven.

As I said, a young and gifted cast. I think of them as the spray on a breaking wave of theatrical renaisance here in Boston.

Catch them if you can!

( a k a larry stark)

"Metamorphoses" (7 - 15 March)
@ Boston Center for The Arts, 527 Tremont Street, BOSTON MA

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