A Theatre Mirror Reviews - "The Trojan Whore"

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note: entire contents copyright 2005 by Larry Stark

"The Trojan Whore"

by Sean Michael Welch Directed by John Edward O'Brien

Scenic/Graphic Design by Brett Bundock
Costume Design by Kathy Maloney
Sound Design by Jason Freimark
Lighting Design by Greg M. Jutkiewicz
Co-Manging Directors Brett Bundock, Irene Daly

Odysseus.............Sean Barney
Oral Stenographer.....Irene Daly
Nestor..........Tony Dangerfield
Menelaus.......Antoine A. Gagnon
Agamemnon..........Lonnie McAdoo
Todd Harper..........Jason Myatt

In the world premier of Sean Michael Welch's "The Trojan Whore" Lonnie McAdoo plays King Agamemnon as a big, broad, boisterous bumbler badly in need of advice. Unfortunately he gets it from the unlikely Todd Harper, an obviously 21st-century spin-doctor played by smiling, fresh-faced Jason Myatt. Harper notes that Mycenae is experiencing fish-shortages, and raising more cows would be expensive. Just then impulsive, vindictive, passionate Menelaus (Antoine A. Gagnon) blusters in hacking up the furniture because a Trojan prince has stolen his wife. With a sincere face, Harper advises war --- because Troy's large fishing industry will become Greek if they lose the war. Ten quagmire years later..... (Does something sound familiar here?)

Myatt's slyly sincere Harper dominates the proceedings, with the help of Irene Daly's Oral Stenographer (There were such things back then!). This placidly robotic slave, asked to expand, emphasize, and romanticize the king's pronouncements, warms to the p/r hyperbole to the point that Harper chooses her a new name --- Homer.

Daly would be Myatt's co-star, if the ensemble interaction of John Edward O'Brien's cast didn't make such categories moot. Sean Barney's Odysseus first holds his tongue, then loses all memory to a head-wound. Tony Dangerfield's Nestor also suffers from vague memory, while Gagnon's Menelaus is puzzled when his wife is spun from rape victim (to start the war) to willing whore (to end it).

Mill 6's Co-Manager Brett Bundock (his partner is Irene Daly) has a ball designing a cutely detailed Attic Greek set, complete with black detailing on dark-pink backgrounds, and benches, table and chairs with pointedly horse-hooved legs. And Kathy Maloney's costume designs reach subtle humor when the togas (or are they chitins?) of the Greeks change into silken camouflage-outfits when the war starts. From performances to Greg M. Jutkiewicz' lights and Jason Freimark's sound design, Mill 6 gives careful detail to this hilarious world premier. Oddly enough, playwright Sean Michael Welch ends every major scene with a quiet philosophical note rather than a belly-laugh. In a play so bitingly funny, this detail deserves a re-write.


"The Trojan Whore" (1 - 16 April)
Devanaughn Theatre, 791 Tremont Street, BOSTON, MA
1 (617)240-6317

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide