Jason & (Medea)

la new court theatre · Ages 16+ · United States of America

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DAVID MCMENOMY certified reviewer · June 13, 2015
Let's be honest - most productions of Greek plays or retellings of their myths are difficult to sit through. They occasionally pop up in a theatre's season because they're classics, but what so often happens is that either they become flat museum pieces (modern realism and ancient dramatists don't mesh well) or they venture so far from the source material that they feel forced and ultimately untrue to the real story. Playwright Jess Shoemaker has opted to throw out this blueprint for failure and give the audience a real treat with her original script. This is not your grandfather's "Medea" with a woe-is-me chorus telling you how to feel every step of the way. Nor is it a concept piece that demands you rethink your sociopolitical outlook ... full review

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BLAKE WALKER certified reviewer · June 15, 2015
I appreciated the self-aware retelling of this classic myth, particularly the way it addressed the implications of gender roles then and how we identify those roles now. In this production, the characters aren't simply content to live out the story, they have a real point-of-view about their circumstances and an emotional life that I feel is taken for granted in some of the classics when characters are treated as devices. This is a smartly written show, and Jessica Pohly gives a visceral and affecting performance. One of my favorite things about fringe festival is that it turns the seeming constraint of minimalism into a blessing, giving the audience an opportunity to really exist with the actors and their work even more so than you would wa... full review

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KYLE HESTER certified reviewer · June 18, 2015
Loved it! Funny, dark, and achingly sad. Shoemaker digs deep into the myth, extracts the human truths in these ancient characters, dresses them up in modern clothes, gives them the most beautiful, lyric yet grittily down-to-earth language to speak, and then suddenly they spring to life, immediately and vividly recognizable and present. There is nothing archaic about this Jason and Medea. The small cast is stellar, and Pohly and Culos particularly shine in the title roles, alternating sly wit and brutal intelligence with deep feeling and romance. Don't miss it!... full review

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NINA LEONARD certified reviewer · June 25, 2015
Electrifying. Dazzling. Powerful. An excellent show that tackles the infamous myth and the implications of giving away your heart. Well-acted and well-performed - bravo!... full review

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ERIC WHITE certified reviewer · June 15, 2015
tagged as: Jason Medea review
As a student of drama I loved this rendition by the new court theatre. The love story that was never told. Now is. Bravo! ... full review

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JOSEPH MCMAHON certified reviewer · June 19, 2015
I wasn't remotely familiar with the mythology regarding Medea before I came to see this show, but that didn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying the production. If you haven't already checked out this show I highly recommend you do so. Jessica Pohly is AMAZING as the lead and alone is worth the price of admission. From a production point of view the show is clean, sharp, and of the few instances where I actively noticed and appreciated how much the sound design added to the show. ... full review

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CYNTHIA BECKERT · June 19, 2015
Superb. A stunningly satisfying theatrical experience. Full disclosure: I am a huge fan of Greek dramas, mostly because of the epic human themes they explore. But you don't need to get off on masks and robes and the wailing and gnashing of teeth to appreciate the punch this show packs. The heart of the human condition of love - as well as the archetypal contrast between the sexes - has rarely been brought in to such clear light. The poetry playwright Jess Shoemaker employs masterfully combines contemporary vernacular with scientific theorems and socio-political ramblings (listen for the comments on Disney princesses and their improbable waistlines). Director Beth Lopes has staged this piece brilliantly, effectively interspersing naturalistic... full review

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LAWRENCE PRESSMAN certified reviewer · June 21, 2015
Fantastic play: edgy retelling of this myth(????) which like all great myths proves to be still relevant . Sexy,astute, chilling. Excellent production,thrilling and yet simple staging,and terrific acting. I saw a Hamlet retelling a while ago from this same director,and with Paul Culos the Jason of this play as the Danish prince,which I also loved a whole lot. I like classical plays,don't always like any updating,but would see any classical play with Ms Lopez & MR. Culos involved. They really reinvent when it illuminates the text,seeing it in a new way. Great work every one. ... full review

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JENNIFER LOSI certified reviewer · June 24, 2015
Jason & (Medea) is a love story, a hate story, and a compelling comtemporary trip through Greek mythology. (Think Charles Mee's Big Love or Sara Ruhl's Eurydice.) Paul Culos and Jessica Pohly are commanding and captivating as the titular characters, taking us for the ride on their literal and emotional journies. The dialogue is as sharp as Medea's knife, and I look forward to finding a copy of the script to catch all the references I missed when multiple actors are speaking simultaneously in the epilogue. With a smart as hell script, great direction, and a kick butt cast of five fierce actors, this dark comedy is a must-see for anyone who likes a little bit of modern in their classics. ... full review

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KELLY NIENALTOWSKI certified reviewer · June 21, 2015
At the start of the show, I was immediately draw in to what would be a gripping performance all around. Each actor was brilliantly cast and committed to bringing Jess Shoemaker's fierce words to life. The simplicity of the set allowed all the intricacies of the actors' choices to shine. Particularly sharp was Jessica Pohly as Madea. Her ferocious take was mixed with a charming vulnerability, making it impossible to look away from her commanding performance. Emily Fisher, Josey Montana McCoy, Josie Adams, and Paul Culos all deserve high praise as well for their passionate and spot on portrayals. I look forward to seeing more of Jess Shoemaker's work, as well as seeing what other outstanding productions The Los Angeles New Court Theatre has in... full review

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