Narcissus & Echo

mount olympus · Ages 13+ · United States of America

world premiere
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June 26, 2017 original article

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My overall impression

Simply put, Narcissus and Echo is brilliant. Hilarious, heart-breaking, and thought-provoking, the play manages to not miss a single step from start to finish. Yet despite how fun or funny it may be, it is also, in many ways, a tough play. Lanier’s writing is clear-eyed, unflinching, and honest not just about the nature of the systems that oppress, but the roles that we all play in the propagation of said systems. The play carries with it a certain cynicism, in which people across all points of the “power” spectrum are corrupt in their own way, from the charlatan at the new age medicine store to the CEO damaging lives to protect a profit margin. At times, it even seems to advance the grim suggestion that all of this might be, in many ways, inescapable.

Yet buried deep within Narcissus and Echo is an undeniable sense of optimism, and a reverence for the inherent virtue of “the good fight”, even as ultimately useless as that fight may prove to be. Perhaps self-awareness is antithetical to progress. Perhaps a bit of delusion and fanciful, idealistic hope can be just the thing we need sometimes to get through all this and affect some kind of change. For at least 55 minutes, Narcissus and Echo provides that.

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