Narcissus & Echo

mount olympus · Ages 13+ · United States of America

world premiere
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June 16, 2017 stage raw and la bitter lemons original article

What I liked

What I didn't like

My overall impression

This modern adaptation of the Narcissus and Echo myth blends it with current environmental issues surrounding clean and accessible water. Written and directed by Elizabeth Lanier and original music by Ian Michaels and Jetta Juriansz, this crew has created a show that is both humorous and affecting.

Echo (played Jetta Juriansz, who displays a gorgeous voice) works as the marketing director for Watair, a synthetic water company owned by Zeus. Hera, Zeus’ wife, owns a rival synthetic water company called Rainsip. Consumed by jealousy, Hera takes away Echo’s voice leaving her only able to repeat what’s said to her. Needless to say, this affects her ability to do her job marketing Watair. She returns to the forest where she meets Narcissus (a fervid and charismatic Ben Horwitz), an idealist young man determined to find the fresh spring and save the environment. Thankfully, Lanier has updated the myth showing a mutual adoration between the two young lovers. Thus, when they find the spring and Narcissus falls in love with his own reflection, Echo’s heartbreak becomes far more authentic and touching.

Overall, the entire ensemble has tremendous musical talent and comedic timing. Lanier has them morph, like drops of water, from one scene to the next. The beginning could have a bit more clarity as it takes some time to follow exactly what is happening, but once the show finds its feet it becomes a delightful musical romp in Olympus. I’d love to see a full production with a stronger visual aesthetic, but this is definitely a group of artists to watch.

25% of the play’s proceeds go to the Flint Child Health and Development Fund.

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