Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Single Carrot's recent production of Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice was an enchanted production which rightly produced sold-out audiences. This reworking of the Orpheus-Eurydice myth presents us with a rather intellectual Eurydice (her nose glued to a book) enthralled by musical genius Orpheus, whose music in his head transcends the occasional music we hear in the theater. As Orpheus attempts to rescue the dead Eurydice from the underworld, Ruhl adds a new character to the myth: the father of Eurydice who has somehow maintained shards of memory after an imperfect bath in the river of Lethe, the underworld's pool of forgetting. A magnificent chorus of stones and a lecherous Lord of the underworld on a tricycle provide more humor than menace to the desperate play of the central triangle revolving around death, mourning, and forgetting.
Giti Jabailly (Euryidce), Aldo Pantoja (Orpheus), and Brendan Regan (the father) provide the right blend between fervent attachment and cool other-worldliness to maintain the magical atmosphere of the tale, although one does wonder why both men go to such lengths to liberate a woman who does not seem similarly interested in them. The set designer Joey Bromfield works wonders in the Single Carrot's tiny black-box theater. Billowing white sheets, a dark pool of Lethe, and a straw-colored boardwalk evoke a barren, repetitious underworld where only the occasional passion survives in the royal purple costumes worn by several characters. Director J. Buck Jabailly smoothly balances the choreographed movements of the stones and the stilted gestures of the leads with the play's outbursts of grief and affection. Even the longer, preachier moments in Ruhl's script are lent a certain dignity and wonder in this succession of subdued tableaux vivants.