Saturday, June 30, 2012

"Polaroid Stories" by Naomi Iizuka - A "Must See" at the Boston Center for the Arts

I was at Opening Night last evening at Boston Center for the Arts Black Box Theater for "Polaroid Stories."  You have two more weeks to see this remarkable piece about the underbelly of NYC street life.  Under the dual direction of Joey C. Pelletier and Elise Weiner Wulff, the ensemble cast is pitch perfect.

This production is a collaboration among three theater groups: Happy Medium Theater Company, Boston Actors' Theater and Heart & Dagger Productions.

"Naomi Iizuka’s 1997 play, Polaroid Stories, consciously uses stories, characters and themes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses to tell the stories of street kids living on the edge in a desolate, urban landscape. Because these characters are named after Orpheus and Eurydice, and Echo and Narcissus, or based on stories of Dionysus, and Ariadne and Theseus, and because scenes are entitled “The Story of Semele” or “Theseus in the Labyrinth,” Iizuka creates a world that has two dimensions: the gritty realm of drug dealers, homeless kids, and prostitutes and the realm of self-fashioning and shape-shifting gods. By blending these two dimensions, Iizuka comments on several Ovidian themes: the relationship of the gods to humans, women as victims, and the power of story-telling. "

The production stars: Danielle Leeber as Philomel, Mikey DiLoreto as D, Elizabeth Battey as Echo, Erin Rae Zalaski as SkinheadGirl, Kiki Samko as Persephone, Michael Underhill as Narcissus, Amy Meyer as Daphne, Michael Caminiti as SkinheadBoy, Jesse Wood as G, Robyn Linden as Semele, Melissa DeJesus as Eurydice, and Luke Murtha as Orpheus.

Among the outstanding ensemble, several actors stood out in their electric performances: Michael Underhill, Mikey DiLoreto, Kiki Samko, Erin Rae Zalaski, Jesse Wood, Luke Murtha, Melissa DeJesus and Michael Caminiti..

The show is not uplifting in its themes; it is, in fact, sometimes bloodcurdling.  It is transcendent in its execution.

Get to the BCA before July 14.



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