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An Odyssey

dance & physical theatre · ungovernable theatre company · Ages 16+ · world premiere · United States of America

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June 18, 2018 certified reviewer
tagged as: humor · sorrow · and Humanity

What I liked

I loved the acting and the writing in this piece. When working in such a small venue it can be overwhelming at times when the actors are at such close proximity, which is an easy way to check out as an audience member. However, the group of actors working in this show did an exceptional job keeping me checked in with the small amount of space they had to work with.

- Carolina Montenegro was superb as Argus, Odysseus’s dog. There were many moments when I was teary eyed as she delivered wonderfully nostalgic monologues about the relationship between Master and Companion. Monologues chalk full of intimate details (Instances of obedience, small acts of defiance, and heartwarming face licks) all of which had me thinking of my own pet, and the connection that we make with our animals. She had the audience gripped firmly in her paws, tearful in sorrow and in humor. Superb!

- Julia Davis as Penelope was Fantastic. Her portrayal as an Army Wife was eerie throughout, as she teetered between being tightly wound and coming apart at the seams. Clearly calculated in her maintaining order for the household and personal sanity, while in an another instant, falling to absolute pieces over what her husbands absence has meant to her and the longing she feels for him. Again, fantastic!

- Joe DeSoto as Telemachus was Terrific. He did a good job in capturing an essence of a son looking up to a father he’ll never know. DeSoto’s delivery felt free, genuine, and had the audience in stitches. He broke the fourth wall at times, but it never felt awkward as he interacted with audience members and reacted perfectly, and hilariously to what they gave him. There was a playful childlike energy that went hand in hand with a put together energy that mirrored the characters mother.

Of course, all of the above is evidence to a well directed show. For such an intimate venue, and by intimate I mean small, The Director, Turner Munch, did an excellent job using the entirety of the space to enhance the story telling and keep the audience captivated. He got the most out of all moving parts.

All of this fabulous acting and storytelling was aided by similarly fabulous writing. Patrick Denney’s ‘An Odyssey’ was so fun and visceral as is brought a beloved story to current times. The writing, highlighting a very real problem that plagues our soldiers and their families. This play could have been very heavy and drawn out, but Denney has done a great job balancing the harsh reality of absence in time of need, and the humor that is tangled within it.

What I didn't like

I would say that the only thing that could really be improved upon would be the sound. At a couple points a guitar played and it was too loud for the size of the space, and at other times a bit too soft. Balancing those levels would surely make a difference, but this pales in comparison to all that went right.

My overall impression

An Odyssey was incredibly enjoyable. Humorous throughout, touching at times, and eerily mesmerizing in its portrayal of a mourning family. The show had me laughing, frightened, and tearful. The Acting, Writing and Direction was outstanding. Anytime I can watch a piece of work that has me engaged like that, means I will highly recommend that anyone reading this should catch the show.
Great Job to all involved!

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