Well… that was definitely an experience.
I think the biggest flaw of this production was that I went in knowing nothing but the premise and left knowing nothing but the premise. I actually no clue about what just happened in that theatre. If you do see it, don’t be fooled to think you’re stupid. You are not alone.
I’m not saying it was all-bad. In fact, enjoyed myself and was certainly in awe of this production in all of its quirkiness. The set was chock full of phallic and vaginal symbols, which the characters were not afraid to play with and bring attention to.
The costumes… well, they were very well designed, but just like many other aspects of the show I simply had to ask… why? They included pieces such as a bright blue nylon wig, a beekeeper mask, one chorus member clad in baby dolls (the toys, not the dresses), and lots of near nudity featuring tighty whities.
The comedic timing of Amos Vanderpoel as Councilor and Byrn Lagoni as Calonice were the acting highlights of the show for me, though many others in the cast possessed a great deal of talent (Kendall Cooper as a badass Lampito particularly stood out to me.) I also loved this take on the Greek chorus adding a great deal of humor to this classic concept (though I believe the credit for that belongs to Aristophenes.) At other times I felt some of the acting to be a bit strained when authenticity would have thrived.
The director, Stephen Cross, is a professor of Movement in the SU Drama department and this explains a lot about the show. The cirque-de-soleil-esque concept of this production walked wobbly along the tightrope between innovative and just plain weird for the sake of being strange.
Between the blatant sexuality of the play and the circus inspired concept of the director, I’d say this would be the best $16 anyone with a clown fetish has ever spent. For the rest of you, I’d say see it out of curiosity and to support SU drama, but make sure you go in with an open mind and (to be cliché for second) expect the unexpected. However, if you’re only going to see one play this semester, maybe you should wait (or should have seen RENT, silly.)