Review by SAM MESSEJune 16, 2015 certified reviewer
My overall impression
Heading in to see Anouilh’s Antigone, I had a limited knowledge of the play and was excited to see a new interpretation of the morality story that I had read in high school. Even if some of the details of the story had faded, I was empowered coming in that I knew the play was not a horror story about a mysterious bug spray and it’s effects sweeping across the kingdom (ANTI-GONE- say it a few times and you can imagine on the shelf next to the OFF and deet products.)
I have been to many plays in my life- Broadway, off- Broadway, Community theater and small shows like this one, but I have never seen an opening like this that Joseph Matarrese (director) presented to the audience. As we were filing in, the cast was already on stage, in character and giving us a taste of the turbulent and angsty world we were entering into. It gave me a chance to imagine a world around these characters, without the pressure of having to keep up with the language and intricacies of a play such as this (make sure you pay attention and had some caffeine before!) Some of these plays start late in the evening.
Brittany McGregor plays Antigone as a tortured and passionate soul. In the first ’act" of the play, while getting used to her character, some of the dialogue and action on her part felt a little over the top and heavy handed, but I think she hit her stride in the important conversation with Creon and I was riveted from then on.
Tyler Peck (Prologue/Chorus) was a revelation. His alternating flashes of humor,irony and explanation were so welcome in subject matter like this. I really enjoyed his character and the spirit and fervor which he brought to the piece. On that same note, Michael Vega (Jonas) brought so much levity and humor to his role as an overly enthusiastic soldier of Creon. He was a pleasure to watch and stole many scenes!
The moral conflict, of moral law vs. city law was quite strong throughout this play. Many lessons can be gleaned from how our society’s laws have been built today through this interpretation of Antigone. Personally, some of the modern touches took me out of the show and I would have liked it to not have a time stamp attributed to it. That is my personal preference, but did not take away from the message the playwrights and producers/directors of this play succeeded in communicating! Thanks for a fun evening!