O. Rex takes the Sophocles classic and smashes it in the noir world. While the story needs no set up, the concept and choices made on stage do. Staged in an intimate cabaret style three quarter thrust in the wonderfully transformative Alchemical Theatre Laboratory, O. Rex brings the audience into the action from the get go. The vibe allows for the noir atmosphere to settle in. Everything in this world is back and white. Literally. The tables are black. The chairs are white. The costumes are black and white. And the white makeup is in full force to really hammer the film element. While it didn't read, especially as the sweat melted it off of some actor's faces, the feeling evoked everything director Forakis was going for. The ingenuity of the concept allowed for some great ideas to be executed well. One of the best was turning the Greek chorus into the talent of the club.
|photo courtesy of Alex Ward|
Director Gia Forakis, who also served as co-translator alongside with Mark Buchan, did wonders devising a high concept world and bringing it to life. It was clear Forakis knew the world she was creating. Forakis allowed her company of actor to play an assortment of acting choices that did not always blend properly. With the cabaret style, Buchan and composer Balint Varga wrote a wonderful musical score for the chorus to sing, keeping within the themes of the play. Jeremy Mage composed the underscoring, which was beautifully noir. However with the intensity Naumovski spoke in, any underscoring that may have been playing immediately disappeared as it became inaudible. The lighting by Federico Restrepo evoked the perfect feeling by limiting the amount of color to red at the end.
O. Rex is truly a brilliant concept of a brilliant classic text. But when the titular character is difficult to watch and understand, saving the production is quite hard. This is an Oedipus you have to see to believe.