Critical Review: Metamorphoses

Winterdance 2013 (Michele Hardy)

Michele Hardy

From Nov. 7 to Nov. 10, Saddleback College’s Theatrical Arts department put on the Tony Award winning show, “Metamorphoses.” 

Based on a series of Greek myths, “Metamorphoses” is part musical, part dramatic collection of romantic stories with many of them tying in together. Favorite stories include that of Psyche and Aeros, Myrrha, Midas, Apollo and Phaeton, Persephone and Orpheus, among others.

The set was phenomenal. A fifty foot pool had been set up in the middle of the stage, equipped with a sunken hole for actors to disappear into. The first couple rows of the audience could have been considered in the splash zone with all the water flying around. The backdrop was beautiful and the lighting above the set was complimentary to each scene being enacted.

Sometimes the background music was a little hard to hear. When there was silence on stage, the audience was treated to sweet melodic tunes. When the actors were speaking, the music was drowned out completely at points. What’s the point of having an elegantly orchestrated score if no one can hear it?

Each actor’s costume was both simple and elegant. Sometimes they adorned traditional Greek robes, other times they had on black tanks and pants, and some even paraded around topless (men only). The only oddball in the group was when Midas’ story was told. Midas wore a three-piece, complete with cell phone and wallet. Not exactly Greek attire.

And then there was the acting. While each actor has the right to perfect their own, unique style and method of acting, there are certain boundaries that a theatrical artist should not cross. One actress in particular could have put William Shatner to shame, her dialogue was so static and stoic. Another actor appeared to be emotionally stunted and read his lines without a single vocal inflection.

Not that everyone was bad. Several actors and actresses were very talented. Some were emotionally moving and awe-inspiring. One girl in particular had a voice that brought some audience members to tears when she sang.

In all, it may not have been Broadway worthy, but it was an excellent performance, considering the cast and crew only had a select amount of weeks to put on the show. Given more time, I’m sure that it would have been absolutely spectacular. 

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