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The Cave: A Folk Opera

musicals and operas · daughters of elysium · Ages 21+ · world premiere · United States

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June 20, 2014 certified reviewer

My overall impression

The Cave seems entirely at home in the back room of Three Clubs. Known for regular burlesque nights and a cultivated Byronic ambience (and clientele), the choice to stage a moody tone poem such as this felt effective. Certainly, the show as a whole is an excellent port of embarkation from which to sail the stormy seas of further development towards clarity and specificity. As is, the production – swimming in reverb – suffers from a conspicuous lack of credited sound design, choosing to area-mic performers who perform nearly sotto voce. The effect is a dreamlike altered state which, while effective to the overall style of the piece, results in an opioid haze that obscures a curious lack of palpable danger. Well-scored with Weltschmerz, melancholy and languor, I detected opportunities to explore fear, anger, subjugation, danger and coercion that were not fully taken advantage of. I’ll be interested to see that evolve out of the piece as it grows. There is plenty to work with already.

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