#145. I believe in the sequential order of life. That not only does ‘everything happen for a reason’ but it happens in a weird chronological order that only makes sense in hindsight. This life philosophy is anchored in a Divine Intervention that guides me toward a life purpose. Is it my optimistic or naïve nature that has let me believe the forces are working for my greater good?
Victory Gardens presents the Chicago Premiere of OEDIPUS EL REY. The King receives a prophecy that his first born son will kill him. To change this fate, the King orders his new baby killed. Fast forward twenty years, Oedipus is getting out of prison. Despite his humble childhood, Oedipus feels entitled to more. He wants to rule. He wants to love. He wants to squash anyone that gets in his way. The ex-con is changing his fate. Or is he? OEDIPUS EL REY attacks with ferocity and profundity.
Playwright Luis Alfaro re-imagines a Greek classic in contemporary terms. Alfaro sets the Oedipus complex within prison walls, gang territories and tattoo ink. The story and stories of people’s pasts translate with a fascinating interconnectivity. The escaping-your-destiny is a continually disturbing impossibility. Alfaro masterfully translates this 2000+ year old story into a thought-provoking, present-day novella. Under the lyrical direction of Chay Yew, the pace is edgy poetic. Yew unfolds the parable out with a toxic mixture of sensuality and hostility. Even knowing who is who from mythology, the beautiful intertwining innocence of Adam Poss and Charin Alvarez captivates. The taboo is effectively suspended in a soulful union. Poss (Oedipus) ignites the stage as a headstrong punk. A cocky Poss believes he is the conquering hero. His arrogance makes his epiphany moment that much more pivotally devastating. The entire talented cast delivers this legendary story with unforgettable punch.
The gang and prison cultures are amazingly timeless illustrations for this Greek folklore. This myth translated into Spanglish is a mind-opener. The cyclical nature of love, violence, power… I finally see this tragic story for its raw humanity. Was this fated? OEDIPUS EL REY is steered by an undeniable powerful force.
Running Time: Ninety minutes with no intermission
At Victory Gardens Biograph Theatre, 2433 N. Lincoln
Written by Luis Alfaro
Directed by Chay Yew
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 3pm
Saturdays at 4pm
Sundays at 3pm
Thru July 29th
Buy Tickets at www.victorygardens.org