I’ve never started a review feeling inadequate to accurately describe a theatrical experience...until now. Still, I will try with the disclaimer that I am but a mere mortal. And I know this time my words won’t capture this sensory spectacle.
In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Lookingglass Theatre Company presents the return of its blockbuster sensation, METAMORPHOSES. It’s gods verses mortals and as expected the mortals are getting their asses kicked. From Mount Olympus to Earth to The Underworld, worlds are colliding! Midas wants gold. Erysichthon wants more food. Myrrha wants her dad. When the gods get involved, humans get what they want but not what they need. Everything changes into something else for eternity. METAMORPHOSES is the ancient myths we’ve heard about but never saw...until now.
Playwright and director Mary Zimmerman premiered this show in 1998 to rave reviews. It went on to Broadway where Zimmerman was awarded the 2002 Tony Award for Best Director. It’s limited return to Chicago is a twice in a lifetime opportunity for those who missed out AND those looking to repeat.
This experience is got-to-see-it-to-believe-it phenomenal! The stage is a huge pool. With an oversize door and clouds above it, Scenic Designer Daniel Ostling creates this magnificent pool party for the gods. All the action takes place in and around the pool. The water serves as scenery, prop and a character. Each tale swims into another tale. The water sets the mood. A storm is turbulent. Lovers are erotic. Death is stillness. The sublime ensemble dive into a wet fluidity without hesitation. The water provides this baptism by desire significance. All the cast captivates with their morphing into multiple roles. Special kudos to Chris Kipiniak and Anjali Bhimani for their water ballet physicality that is both sensual and torturous.
This production is a theatrical box of chocolates. Sure, there is greek tragedy by the buckets full. But there is unexpected humor and tenderness too. The woman behind me audibly gasped five times. Me? I laughed, I cried, I worried... the human connection is continuously free-flowing. Hope springs from despair. The finale is candle-lit perfection with a memorable reunion. Don’t miss this rebirth of METAMORPHOSIS. The gods were smiling on Mary Zimmerman on this one!
A last minute sub, Dick describes it with 'cool, cool water.'
Running Time: One hour and forty minutes
At Lookingglass Theatre, 821 N. Michigan
Based on the Myths of Ovid
Written and directed by Mary Zimmerman
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays at 7:30pm
Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays at 3pm and 7:30pm
Thru January 6th
Buy Tickets at www.lookingglasstheatre.org