I think that the producers of the play tried to do way too much. I liked some of the story and then got lost in what seemed like irrelevant sidetracks. I knew from the synopsis that the story would be confusing, but I was hoping for some thread to follow that didn't keep disappearing.
The lead actor was talented. The visuals were excellent, but meaningless when the story was so incoherent. Maybe subsets of the overall play could be spun off to make something stronger....
First of all this is a MUST for all Joseph Campbell fans. How mythology weaves into story telling, then how story telling weaves into religion is a very powerful concept. This play makes an entertaining investigation of this. Where does religion come from? Our souls tell us what to accept and not accept. Ben rejects the religion we was born into and finds mythology, yet it comes at a perilous price as he has to fight the devil for his soul to survive. The ending may surprise you.
Anyone who has questioned, examined, explored the spiritual world, will love this play. CATAMITUS takes on the classic battle between man and god with humor and pathos. ...
Before the show tonight I was with friends having a discussion about how adult children have to escape, move far away from the radar/judgment/control/x-ray vision of their parents before they can ever truly "come into" themselves. This play validated so much of what was true about our conversation - Ben's total rejection of all that the world had put before him and tried to teach him before being taken on his journey.
This is a talented, likable cast, fleet of foot and nimble of tongue with a script that cast a wide net and gave the actors great opportunity to strut, pose, think, and affect us. The physicality in the intimate theater was delicious - literally lain out before us. The video was effective and oddly transporting and melded well...
Ben did warn me that this was experimental theater, and it was - a mixture of song, video, dance and acting. I found no fault in that - the actors were amazing, and the pacing was quick.
The story concerned Ben's search for meaning in life, and ran the gamut from an early childhood incident involving an injury to his head, to his search for love of either sex to his drug-induced journey into mythology.
The homoerotic theme seems to be quite rampant at this year's show as two of the plays I saw on Friday involved the topic.
Ben's treatment of the topic came both in the form of video and, to a lesser extent, acting, and was handled tastefully.
Kudos to Ben and his cast for a good job of handling some difficult material.
DANIEL JOHNSONhttp://cinesnatch.blogspot.com/certified reviewerJune 21, 2012
I usually don't have much use for Experimental theater, but I really enjoyed Catamitus. There were some interesting staging choices that enhanced the production. A few good laughs, and the cast was really solid as well. It certainly isn't for everyone, but if the description piques your interest, definitely check it out....